JAKARTA, Aug 15 — The Indonesian anti-terror squad has arrested 15 alleged militants who have recruited combatants to fight in Syria and held military-style training camps for terrorist strikes, a police officer said on Friday night (Aug 14).
The militants have financed and supplied logistics for a terrorist cell of the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT) operating in Poso district of Central Sulawesi province, National Police’s spokesman Awi Setiyono said.
The militants, who were arrested on Wednesday in the capital of Jakarta and West Java province, are members of a terrorist cell of outlawed Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has been affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group, the spokesman said.
“They are grouped in the JAD and serve as facilitators for those wanting to go to Syria. And they had sent logistics to the MIT and provided funds for it,” he said.
The arrest brings the number of the militants nabbed by the Indonesian anti-terror squad to 72 since June, according to the police. A total of 1,276 Indonesian nationals have joined IS terrorist groups abroad, including that in Syria, according to Minister for Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly.
The government has rejected the repatriation of Indonesian IS combatants who have been classified as foreign terrorist fighters and pledged allegiance to the IS group, according to the government. However, children aged under 10 years old without parents will be returned to their home country, it stated.
Indonesia has been stricken by a string of suicide bombings since years ago, and most of them have been masterminded by the IS group. The deadly attacks, which also involved women and children, have killed dozens of people and wounded scores of others.