Indonesia on Tuesday, reportedly said that it will not bring back hundreds of Islamic State recruits who went to Syria to fight for the now collapsed caliphate of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. According to media reports, Indonesia's Security affairs minister Mohammad Mahfud MD said that the country would not allow the ISIS recruits to return back home due to security concerns. Mahfud told the media that there are some 689 Indonesians, including women and children that would not be allowed to enter the country to provide security assurance to its 267 million citizens.
According to reports, Mahfud's announcement came after his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, where he also said that if those terrorist fighters are allowed to return to the country they could become a dangerous virus. Mahfud further added that the government would consider the repatriation of the younger children who are 10-years of age or below. Indonesia has already seen a number of attacks in the past that could be traced back to ISIS or its affiliates.
According to reports, critics of the plan have said that it is better to bring recruits home and manage them in the country instead of leaving them to be further radicalised. The critics added that the government should bring them back and provide rehabilitation as there are chances that they could be used as proxies by powerful groups that could threaten Indonesia and other countries.
Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim majority country and like any other nation on the planet, it too has its radicalisation issues. Ever since the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Indonesia has seen some of the worst forms of violence in the name of religion. Since 2010, the country has witnessed 19 attacks, including grenade explosions and suicide bombings, that have been claimed by some of the other Islamic terrorist groups operating in the Southeast Asian country.
(With agency inputs)