Indonesian Government Does not Repatriate Ex-ISIS Citizens

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD (photo: special)

Jakarta, MINA – The Indonesian government has decided not to repatriate Indonesian citizens who had joined the Islamic States (ISIS). They are scattered in a number of refugee camps such as in Syria and Turkey.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD stressed that the government did not want to take risks by sending them home. Mahfud said at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Tuesday, February 11.

“The government will continue to provide security to the people of Indonesia. Because if the Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) returns, it could become a new virus that makes the people of 267 million feel insecure so the government has no plans to repatriate terrorists. It will not repatriate FTF to Indonesia, ” he stressed.

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As for the return of children under 10 years will be considered but case by case. “Just see if there are parents or not, orphans,” he added.

Mahfud said from the latest data, there are 689 former ISIS citizens spread across a number of regions such as Syria and Turkey. Previously, there were 660 Indonesians.

Nevertheless, Mahfud said the government would still record the actual number of ex-ISIS citizens and complete identity.

“The government will gather more valid data on the number and identity of people who are considered involved in terror, joining ISIS,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi had visited the Nahdlatul Ulama Central (PBNU) on Kramat Raya Street, Central Jakarta.

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In a meeting that was received directly by PBNU Chairperson Kiai Said Aqil Siradj, Retno conveyed the purpose of his visit, which was to seek advice related to issues of public health in the international world, including regarding the discourse of returning Indonesian ex-ISIS citizens.

“If we are asked about our position so far, we will first collect data. Because what we have received is a lot of confusion, so we want verification, that’s all we can convey, ” said Retno. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)