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Jakarta Post

IS returnees help spread counter-radicalism messages online

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, August 1, 2019   /  10:58 am
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Smoke and fire billow from shelling on the Islamic State group’s last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province. Kurdish-led forces backed by US warplanes rained artillery fire and air strikes on besieged and outgunned jihadists making a desperate last stand in the Syrian village.(AFP/Delil Souleiman)

Febri departed to join the Islamic State (IS) movement in Syria some two years ago in hopes of reuniting with his family members who had left Indonesia before him to go to the so-called caliphate in 2015. He expected to have a wonderful life with a new job and a living allowance provided by the government, as promised by the IS propagandists on social media, but the reality was quite disappointing. The 25-year-old man was asked to join the military when he entered the IS capital city of Raqqa, given his gender and strong build. Febri, however, managed to deceive the IS' army by pretending to be weak and sick so he could skip the mandatory military service. The Iraqi Kurdish force, which is backed by the United States, had begun the fight against IS in 2014, right after the radical organization, then known as the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, proclaimed itself a worldwid...