The group blamed for the Bali bombings, Jemaah Islamiah (JI) does exist, and wants to form an Islamic state across Southeast Asia. But it suffers ideological splits, is loosely structured, and has been allowed to grow because of corrupt military and police forces, a study has revealed. These conclusions, reached by the International Crisis Group's Jakarta office, are significant because they come from independent research - not from shadowy government intelligence sources. The new research re-examines corruption and long-standing conflicts in Indonesia, including the Christmas eve 2000 bombings and the fighting between Muslims and Christians in the Malukus. Experience in or indoctrination about the Maluku conflict has been a key recruitment tactic for Jemaah Islamiah. It is only since September 11, the ICG says, that foot-soldiers for Jemaah Islamiah have taken inspiration from US aggression against Muslims. The research group used trial documents, police data and extensive interviews over a two-month period to produce its latest paper on Islamic radicalism in Southeast Asia. It concludes that Jemaah Islamiah is structured loosely into four territorial divisions: Malaysia and Singapore; Java; Mindanao, Sabah and Sulawesi; and Australia and Papua New Guinea. The top strategists appear to be students of the late Abdullah Sungkar, co-founder with Abu Bakar Bashir of the Pondok Ngruki Islamic boarding school in Solo, Central Java. They comprise mostly Indonesians who have lived in Malaysia and are predominantly veterans of the post-Soviet conflicts in Afghanistan. A second layer delivers money and subordinates and recruits team leaders who then build a third layer of foot-soldiers - the men who drive the cars, survey targets and deliver the bombs. In line with conclusions of an earlier ICG paper, 'the schools that provide the recruits are often led by religious teachers'. Among the revelations in this report, two are particularly significant. One is that Abu Bakar Bashir - the charismatic cleric now detained in Jakarta - represents the softer, less militant group within Jemaah Islamiah. 'A deep rift has emerged between him and the JI leadership in Malaysia, who find him insufficiently radical,' the report said. 'Bashir undoubtedly knows far more than he has been willing to divulge about JI operations, but he is unlikely to have been the mastermind of JI attacks.' The second curiosity is the link ICG has found between Indonesian military intelligence and some Acehnese who share a loathing for the Acehnese separatist movement, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM). 'This link needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged,' the ICG said. Previous research by rights groups and academics has gone further than the ICG chooses to at this time, alleging the involvement of Indonesia's special forces and military intelligence in provoking and leading acts of terror. The ICG office makes three key recommendations: Reopen investigations into previous bombings, preferably with international assistance; Look to Indonesia's police, not to the army or the National Intelligence Agency for a new strengthening of intelligence capacity in Indonesia; Focus seriously on addressing corruption in the police, the army, the immigration service, and the trade in arms and explosives.