27 January 2017
Increasing concern over foreign terrorist fighters returning to Southeast Asia has prompted Indonesia to enhance immigration cooperation with ASEAN member countries. But regional cooperation must be preceded by significant internal improvement, particularly in regards to the integrity and capability of the country’s immigration apparatus.
Since coalition forces successfully pushed the so-called Islamic State (IS) to Mosul and launched Operation Conquest, leaders from various countries have expressed their concern over the potential consequences of fleeing IS foreign fighters. Indonesia — a country where a small collection of IS fighters have origins and where foreign fighters are often attracted to joining local resistances — must keep an eye on its border security.
Indonesia already has experience in this issue as its immigration and border security have been exploited in the past by Jamaah Islamiah (JI) fighters wanting to enter or leave the country. Indonesia’s problem with people movement seems to centre around a lack of integrity in the immigration apparatus as well as the sheer scale of its borderlands. With such challenges, can Indonesia protect its territory from the movement of foreign fighters?
… Satrio Dwicahyo is Research Associate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 30/01/2017