TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Tempering fear of returning foreign terrorist fighters

  • Alif Satria
    Alif Satria

    Assistant researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

PREMIUM
Washington, DC   /   Fri, August 16, 2019   /  12:38 pm
Tempering fear of returning foreign terrorist fighters A policeman stands guard outside the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church (Surabaya Gereja Pantekosta Pusat) in Surabaya, East Java on May 13, 2018. A series of blasts, including a suicide bombing, struck churches in Indonesia, killing at least nine people and wounding dozens in the deadliest attack for years in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country. (AFP/Juni Kriswanto)

Indonesia has an imminent returning foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) challenge. The latest data from Indonesia’s Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters Task Force showed that the state has received more than 600 deportees and returnees, while still needing to deal with around 630 Indonesian citizens still in Syria and Iraq. Indonesia should acknowledge that statistical and qualitative assessments of the threat of returning FTFs conclude mixed and nuanced results. While the state should not ignore their threat, they should not exaggerate it either. Returning FTFs is not a new phenomenon. During the Afghan-Soviet War of 1978 to 1992, between 5,000 to 10,000 individuals flocked to the conflict zone to assist local Afghan fighters. Although a significant number of them moved to other conflict zones such as Bosnia, Chechnya and Algeria, many returned and significantly increased the cap...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.