Citizenship of ISIS Sympathizers from Indonesia will be Verified
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir gave a reporter to a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (03/28).  

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Government needs a long process in addressing sympathizers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who want to return to Indonesia following the fall of the extremist group in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir explained that the citizenship status of these people needed to be confirmed before the consular service was granted. The reason is that many of the sympathizers have no official documents that prove their citizenship status.

“In the context of Indonesian citizens who support ISIS, some of them when they go there have no official documents, therefore we have to do various stages before we can ascertain whether we can provide services to them as Indonesian citizens,” Nasir said at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (03/28).

Nasir revealed that the verification process was not only carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also involved various other agencies such as the Directorate General of Immigration, the National Agency for Combating Terrorism, the National Intelligence Agency and the National Police. The government must re-analyze the sympathizers for de-radicalization.

“There are various stages carried out both in Syria and in Indonesia. The stage is indeed very long and that’s where we determine whether [they] can return,” he continued.

Until now, Nasir was unable to ascertain the number of Indonesian ISIS sympathizers residing in Syria given the security conditions there in the past few months were not conducive enough to obtain accurate data and information about the number of Indonesian citizens.

Meanwhile, according to data released by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), it is estimated that there were 574 Indonesian citizens who joined ISIS-affiliated groups until September 2017. At least 97 of them were declared dead, 66 were stopped when they were leaving Indonesia, and more than 500 people are deported.

On the other hand, citing data compiled by the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said in May 2018 there were around 500 Indonesian citizens still in Syria and Iraq, 500 had returned to their homeland, and about 103 people were estimated has been killed by confrontation in the region.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com