TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, announced that there are roughly 6,000 Indonesian nationals who are identified as foreign terrorist fighters (FTF). Some 187 of them are currently located in Syria.
"We have many FTFs that need to be brought back home. Such as in Syria, where we have 187 of them, and maybe more," said Mahfud at his office in Central Jakarta on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Moreover, the 187 Indonesian FTFs in Syria comprised of only31 men, while the others are mainly women and children. Mahfud MD suspected that these Indonesians have been heavily influenced by terrorist ideologies from global terrorist organizations.
"The children there have these dead-eyed stares as if they are set to go on a killing spree," said the coordinating minister. A small number of these Indonesian FTFs are slated to be convicted in Syria.
The handling and treatment of foreign terrorist fighters were the main discussion points between Mahfud MD and the Director-General of the Japanese Counterterrorism Unit Shigenobu Fukumoto, in Jakarta on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Mahfud said that the government is not only responsible for bringing the Indonesians home, but also to completely deradicalize them as soon as they step foot on Indonesian soil. "This must be discussed, whether they would be dangerous or not if they are to be brought back home," said the Coordinating Minister.