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STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT. Jakarta. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) demanded the government repatriate Indonesians living in Syria. Komnas HAM commissioner Chairul Anam said the government had a duty to safeguard its citizens regardless of the risks the country might face.
“Our constitution mandates us to secure citizens regardless of the risks from the person. If they are willing to return, then allow them,” said Anam at his office in Central Jakarta on Friday, April 5.
Earlier reports suggested that dozens of Indonesian nationals lived among thousands of foreign fighters or jihadist of Islamic State (ISIS) at Al-Hol refugee camp in East Syria. They left the ISIS’ last pocket in Baghouz after being defeated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Presently, the government is canvassing a policy concerning the repatriation of the Indonesians. Under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs, the study involves security and defense institutions, viz. the National Police, the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), and the Indonesian Armed Forces.
Anam further stressed that the government should not fret over the fact that those Indonesians had been exposed to terrorism considering the BNPT was designed to conduct deradicalization and counter-terrorism.
“As for an issue whether they can undergo deradicalization, that depends on their capacity,” he added.
Anam considered the repatriation of Indonesians from Syria could benefit the government as they could become informants on terror networks in the archipelago (https://en.tempo.co/read/1192819/komnas-ham-asks-govt-to-repatriate-indonesians-in-syria?https://en.tempo.co/index&campaign=https://en.tempo.co/index_Click_3)
U .S.-backed forces proclaimed the capture of Islamic State’s (ISIS) last territory in Syria on Saturday, eliminating its rule over a self-proclaimed “caliphate”, but the jihadist group remains a threat from sleeper cells around the world.
Originally an offshoot of al Qaeda, IS took large swathes of Iraq and Syria from 2014, creating a theocracy known for beheadings and attacks by supporters in the West – but it was slowly beaten back to the village of Baghouz. “We announce today the destruction of the so-called Islamic State organization and the end of its ground control in its last pocket in Baghouz,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) general commander Mazloum Abdi told a victory ceremony.
SDF fighters, who besieged Baghouz for weeks while planes pounded from above, paraded in memory of 11,000 comrades killed in years of fighting against IS. A band played the American national anthem.
Despite the euphoria, some shooting and mortar fire continued on Saturday morning, according to a Reuters journalist at Baghouz. And Abdi warned the campaign against the militant’s more hidden threats must continue. Some ISIS fighters still hold out in Syria’s remote central desert, and in Iraqi cities they have slipped into the shadows, staging shootings or kidnappings.
The United States believes the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in Iraq. He stood at the pulpit of the medieval mosque in Mosul in 2014 to declare himself caliph, sovereign over all Muslims.
Further afield, jihadists in Afghanistan, Nigeria and elsewhere show no sign of recanting allegiance, and intelligence services say ISIS devotees in the West might plot new attacks (https://en.tempo.co/read/1188503/isis-caliphate-defeated-but-threat-persists).
Indonesian National Police’s counterterrorism squad Densus 88 announced that it would continue to hunt down terrorist groups affiliated to ISIS despite the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) recently announcing the fall of ISIS.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said Densus 88 continued to keep an eye on all ISIS-affiliated terrorist network in the country.
“The team constantly conducts profiling and mitigations through preventive strikes in order to anticipate lone wolf terror acts,” said Dedi at the Indonesian National Police (Polri) headquarters today. Dedi also announced that terrorist sleeper cells are under the police’s scrutiny.
Previously, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), initiated by Kurdish militias, officially announced the collapse of ISIS after obliterating the last ISIS-controlled area of Baghouz, Syria, just last week. ISIS first declared their caliphate in 2014 by controlling Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, strategic issues observer, Wildan Nasution has a questions “Is it an important to repatriate Indonesian nationals who had been fought for ISIS in Syria?”. “I think previously if we were refered to Indonesia’s security defend minister statement, Ryamizard Ryacuudu that the government of Indonesia did not an interest to repatriate former ISIS’s member who were came from Indonesia. Those policy had been made to give lesson learnt for all of Indonesia’s people did not join to separatist or terrorist groups in Indonesia and abroad,” Wildan reiterated (Red).