Indonesians spend own money to join ISIS terrorist group: Observers

Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict Sidney Jones has said that most people going to Syria have been self-financed.
Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict Sidney Jones has said that most people going to Syria have been self-financed. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Propelled by messages about glorification of caliphate life spread by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organisation, Indonesians falling to the radical doctrine have been willing to spend their own money to join the group, terrorism analysts say.

"There is no funding system. Most of the people who have gone to Syria have been self-financed. They have sold their land, houses, or cars. They even have borrowed money from friends and relatives," Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday (Dec 28).

Although in some cases, Sydney added, there had also been money apparently sent from Syria for travel, but the amount was very small compared to the funds that were locally raised.

She said the appeal continuously conveyed by the group falsely depicted the actual situation in the war-torn country.

"The propaganda is never about terrorism or violence, but the caliphate and the idea that you can bring up your family to a pure Islamic state," she said.

Terrorism observer Al Chaidar made a similar statement, saying that the cost for an individual going to Syria could be up to 30 million rupiah(S$3,236).

"They usually use the service from agents who handle all administrative matters including the visa and flight ticket. When arriving in Syria, they will be escorted by another Indonesian," he said.

On Saturday, the National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad arrested three Indonesians who were deported from Turkey for allegedly intending to join ISIS militants.