17 February 2015
Indonesian fighters with the self-declared Islamic State (IS) recently posted a video threatening to bring the armed struggle home. Indonesia can learn a lot from past handling of former foreign fighters who returned from the Afghan and Mindanao battlefronts.
Last December, an Indonesian fighter with the self-declared Islamic State (IS), Salim Mubarok At-Tamimi, posted a video message stating that he and his IS comrades would soon return and target the Indonesian military, police and the paramilitary wing of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation Nahdlatul Ulama that guard churches during Christmas.
As of January, Indonesia’s counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 estimated that 123 Indonesian fighters have joined the war in Syria, though the actual number may be higher. Former Police Chief Sutarman further stated that six of them were killed in battle and at least ten returned. Who are these fighters? What would they do if they manage to return? What could be done to mitigate the threat?
…Navhat Nuraniyah is an Associate Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015