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Jakarta Post

Repatriating former fighters to avoid worse problems

  • Amelinda Bonita Leonard


Jakarta   /   Tue, February 18, 2020   /  09:25 am
Repatriating former fighters to avoid worse problems Men, suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group, gather in a prison cell in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on October 26, 2019. (AFP/ FADEL SENNA)

The government has decided against the homecoming of some 600 former foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) from Syria as “they could become a new terrorist virus” that will threaten Indonesia’s entire population. Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD announced the decision, a few days after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed his refusal to welcome back the returnees. The country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, supports the government’s policy. The call to fighting for the Islamic State (IS) group had enticed hundreds of Indonesians to quit their jobs, leave their hometowns, with or without their families. The phenomenon of Indonesian foreign fighters dates back to the 1980s, when hundreds of people left the country for Afghanistan to help Muslims there fight the Soviet Union army and retu...

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