Jakarta, 10 Jumadil Awwal 1438/07 February 2017 (MINA) – Indonesia says it is midway through a month-long deradicalisation of 75 people who were deported from Turkey for attempting to join the Islamic State group.
Authorities said some of the children in the group were traumatised after spending months in custody in Turkey.
There were only 17 adult men in the group — the rest were women and children, according to abc.net.au.
The group included the Flinders University graduate Triyono Utomo and his family.
They were all being held at a residential campus in outer Jakarta, which was opened to the media for the first time on Sunday.
Indonesian authorities said the group was held in a Turkish prison, and they needed to be counselled and helped to reintegrate back into their communities.
Counter-terror chief Suhardi Alius said the group of returnees included several graduates, including physics and IT specialists.
“They used to say that the cause of ideology shift was injustice, poverty, social gap. But now that has changed, these well-educated people are also inspired, which means there’s something about this ideology,” Mr Suhardi said.
“It’s being spread by internet, social media, that’s for sure”
Mr Suhardi said that Indonesian authorities were still trying to decipher the background of the returnees.
“These people were the ones who managed to get to Turkey, but then once they got there they had to return because they couldn’t enter Syria, they got deported across the Turkish border,” he said.
“Some were there for 11 months, some just got there, some have been there for a year but now come back here.”
Children need special attention
Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the children of the alleged IS recruits needed special attention.
“We aren’t going to separate children from parents,” she said.
“We have an ongoing therapy process. Some of them are still traumatised by the arrests, and when they were in jail in Turkey.” (T/RS05/RS01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)