16 October 2019
Indonesia on Alert as ISIS Fighters Escape Syria to Awaken Sleeper Terror Cells Back Home
Some 50 Indonesian Islamic State fighters and their family members imprisoned in northern Syria are believed to have escaped during Turkey’s invasion of the region to oust Kurdish forces, according to a counterterrorism source.
Turkey began a military assault on Syria after the United States abruptly withdrew its troops from the country last week.
Of the 12,000 Isis militants held in Syrian jails, about 2,000 come from foreign countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia. The rest are mostly from Syria and Iraq.
… Noor Huda Ismail, a counterterrorism expert and visiting fellow at Nanyang Technological University, said Indonesian Isis fighters were battle-hardened and their loyalty to Isis remained strong.
Many of them had been filmed burning their Indonesian passports in Syria to proclaim their residence in the Caliphate.
“Without proper documents, it would be hard for them to go back to the region. Almost certainly, they will disperse, especially to neighbouring countries such as the borders of Turkey, Iraq and also Iran,” Huda said.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 18/10/2019