2 Indonesians who were denied entry into S'pore due to plans to join ISIS allowed to return home

PEKANBARU (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - After undergoing examinations at the Pekanbaru Police headquarters, two Indonesian men who were prevented from entering Singapore over their alleged involvement in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) movement - Muhammad Rizka Fajri, 27, and Firman Fitrialneldi, 30 - have been allowed to return to their homes in Pekanbaru, Riau province.

Firman was picked up by his sister, while Rizka was met by his brother.

Nevertheless, police are still paying special attention to both men as it is believed they had previously intended to leave for Syria to join ISIS.

"We have formed a counseling team to make them aware and change their mindsets. Such a matter cannot be regarded as trivial," Pekanbaru Police chief Aries Syarief Hidayat said on Tuesday (Nov 10).

According to him, the counseling team consisted of religious figures and psychologists and also involved the men's family members.

"They are actually victims. They idolised a figure who then indoctrinated them. If left unchecked, they could have joined the banned organisation," he added.

The duo, who planned to travel to Syria, were denied entry into Singapore at the HarbourFront Ferry Terminal and sent back to Batam last Friday.

They were believed to be making plans to join ISIS, and were also questioned by officers from Indonesia's special counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 in Batam.

They were flown back to Pekanbaru on Monday.

More than 700 fighters from Indonesia are estimated to have joined ISIS, whose Malay-speaking unit Katibah Nusantara has put out recruitment videos online.

Indonesian officials have also stopped a number of men planning to travel to Syria through Turkey.