Government not to repatriate Indonesian ex-ISIS-fighters

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - The government has decided not to accept Indonesian citizens who joined terrorist networks abroad, including the ISIS, Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said. The decision was made keeping in mind the safety of 267 million people in Indonesia from the threat of terrorism, Mahfud said at the Bogor Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on Tuesday.

Some 689 Indonesian citizens were identified as foreign terrorist fighters in some countries, including in Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan, according to Mahfud. The government is still collecting data on their background and role in the group.

If these foreign terrorist fighters return they can become a new virus that makes these 267 million people feel unsafe," the minister elaborated.

The government has also collected valid data on the number and identity of those involved in terrorist groups, who joined the ISIS," he said.

Young children might be accepted, depending on their circumstances. "Children under 10 will be considered on a case-by-case basis: for example, if they have parents there or not," he said.

Jokowi expressed his personal objection to the proposal last week but said that the final decision would be made after meeting with the Cabinet.

The government would, nevertheless, collect data about the numbers and identities of the citizens who had allegedly joined ISIS, Mahfud said.

The Cabinet did not discuss the citizenship status of the IS supporters during the meeting, he added.

The main thing is that the (IS supporters) will not come home because we want to provide a feeling of safety for all the people who are here, he said, explaining that the government wants to protect the nation from the 'terrorist virus'.

Source: Antara News

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