Indonesia yet undecided on repatriating ex-foreign ISIS fighters

Indonesia yet undecided on repatriating ex-foreign ISIS fighters

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (center), accompanied by Vice President Ma'ruf Amin (right), spoke to journalists at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday (5/2/2020) (ANTARA/Hanni Sofia/RN)

Until this time, this matter is yet under discussion. In the near future, a decision will be made after it has been deliberated at a limited cabinet meeting
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) hinted at uncertainty over repatriation of some 600 ex-members of the legion of foreign ISIS fighters from Indonesia, pending the government’s evaluation of pros and cons of bringing them home.

"Until this time, this matter is yet under discussion. In the near future, a decision will be made after it has been deliberated at a limited cabinet meeting. Hence, all is yet in the process. The plus and minus points are still being thoroughly calculated," he stated.

Speaking at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday, President Jokowi affirmed that the limited meeting will be held to discuss this issue. A decision will be taken after hearing the opinions of related ministries to be then followed up with actions.

President Jokowi admitted to have obtained reports on these ex-foreign ISIS fighters’ repatriation, but a limited cabinet meeting for deliberating on it had yet to be held.

In the meantime, National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Deradicalization Director Irfan Idris was quoted by Tempo.co as saying on Feb 4, 2020, that the subject of the ex-foreign ISIS fighters' repatriation was yet under discussion, and no decision had been made.

The special conditions to be applied over the repatriation of some 600 Indonesians, who had ever engaged in the legion of the foreign ISIS fighters, also had to be discussed by several ministries and related government agencies, Idris revealed

According to Tempo.co, the ministries and government agencies involved in the deliberation comprised the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs; Foreign Ministry; Ministry for Religious Affairs; Social Affairs Ministry; BNPT; and State Intelligence Agency.

If the government decided to repatriate those ex-foreign ISIS fighters, 47 of them would be treated as prisoners, while the rest would be regarded as refugees, National Police Spokesman Sen. Coms. Asep Adi Saputra was quoted by Tempo.co as saying.

The ISIS ideology and movement is still perceived as a real threat in Indonesia and Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace's 2015 survey on the perception of senior high school students in Jakarta and Bandung on tolerance supports this perception.

The survey, involving 684 students from 114 senior high schools that Setara Institute conducted on March 9-19, 2015, revealed that 49 respondents agreed to the ISIS Movement.

"Of the total 516 respondents aware of the ISIS, 49 agree with the ISIS movement. In other words, at least one out of every 14 students agrees with the ISIS," the survey report revealed.

The outcome of this survey has raised concerns over the growing support for ISIS from young Indonesians amid the fact that several Indonesians joined the ISIS battles in Iraq and Syria.

The ISIS supporters in Indonesia had also launched a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, that resulted in the deaths of eight people, including three innocent civilians.
Related news: Densus 88 investigates possible ISIS link in Papua riots

Related news: Police cooperate with Interpol to arrest terrorists


EDITED BY INE

Comments