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Jakarta Post

IS repatriation: Threats to Indonesian security, politics

  • Ulta Levenia and Alban Sciascia

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PREMIUM
Jakarta/Singapore   /   Thu, February 13, 2020   /  03:45 pm
IS repatriation: Threats to Indonesian security, politics Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State (IS) group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. (AFP/Bulent KILIC)

The repatriation of ex-Islamic State (IS) group members is a challenge several countries are facing. Programs led by governments and NGOs do not show evidence of their effectiveness to lower the threats of extremism. Around 600 Indonesian citizens who were IS fighters and sympathizers have been identified in Iraq and Syria. This number keeps increasing as many IS fighters are still operating at large, some within sleeper cells. For Indonesia itself, nearly 600 IS fighters have been deported since 2016 and 200 more have been identified as returnees. The government’s decision against repatriating the former IS fighters, announced Tuesday, is the right thing to do. Apart from reasons of public security, the long term concern is the potential impact of exposure to terrorism and the IS’ beliefs on the young generation, at least within their networks. Therefore, as Coordin...

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