Around 600 Indonesians Are Suspected of Being Involved in Cross-border Terrorism

The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Mahfud MD revealed that there are around 600 Indonesians identified as being involved with foreign terrorist fighters.

"From Syria alone we have 187 (Indonesian citizens), basically more than 6,000 (rectified in Mahfud's Twitter account as 600) of our citizens abroad are now identified, by the countries (they) visited, as terrorists," Mahfud said at the Office of the Coordinating Ministry for Politics and Security, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Jakarta, Friday (10 / 1/2020).

"Indonesian citizens suspected of being involved in cross-border terrorism (FTF) I mean around 600, not 6000. Other search and documentation are still being processed. Details of the distribution can be asked to BNPT via Mr. Suhardi Alius," tweeted Mahfud correcting his earlier statement, Friday (10 / 1/2020).

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Mahfud MD
Mahfud MD sitting on the left. Source: Mahfud's Twitter Account

Mahfud also added that these citizens have to be repatriated to Indonesia. "That's a lot that we must return (to Indonesia)," he said. The cross-border terrorist repatriation scheme needs to be considered carefully. He stressed that their return to Indonesia should not jeopardize domestic security.

Terrorism in Indonesia in 2019

Reported by CNN Indonesia, the intensity of terrorism in Indonesia in 2019 decreased compared to the previous year. In 2019 there were 8 acts of terrorism, while in 2018 there were 19 acts of terror. Furthermore, the police had succeeded in arresting 275 terrorist suspects throughout 2019.

Of that number, as many as 2 perpetrators have been convicted, 42 people in the trial process, 220 in the investigation process and 3 perpetrators died.

From July to November 2019, there were only two major acts of terror in Indonesia. The events included attacks on former Minister of Politics, Law and Security Wiranto in Menes Square, Pandeglang, Banten and acts of terror in Mapolrestabes Medan last year.

Based on the results of the National Police investigation, the perpetrators of the Wiranto attack were connected with networks of the Jamaah Ansor Daulah (JAD) who is affiliated with ISIS.

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