8 Indonesian ISIS terror fighters deported by Turkey amid heightened alert for year-end attacks

A member loyal to the Islamic State waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria.
A member loyal to the Islamic State waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Turkey has deported eight Indonesian citizens identified as terrorist fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, with the group now in Indonesian custody, the police confirmed on Tuesday (Dec 19).

The group comprised five men, two children and one woman, who were only identified by the initials SS (40), M (23), DA (22), AZ (21), MI (21), YA (19), JA (11) and AM (7), reported The Jakarta Globe.

"On Sunday, at 7.55pm Jakarta time, we picked up eight Indonesians who were foreign terrorist fighters in Syria and Iraq...," Senior Commander Martinus Sitompu, a National Police spokesman, told BeritaSatu.com.

"They are Indonesians that were arrested in the Hatay area, near the border between Turkey and Syria... five men planned to enter Syria," Sr Comm Martinus explained.

The police were conducting investigations into the suspects' background, he added.

The police said last week that 19 suspected terrorists were arrested in the country in anticipation of attacks during Christmas and New Year revelries.

"There were 19 people that we captured from Dec 9-11 in East Java, Pekanbaru (Riau) and South Sumatra… There is no terror plot, but this is our preventive strike, action before their attacks," Inspector General Setyo Wasita said.

"For sure, (those who were) from East Java (were) linked to the Abu Jandal group and they just returned from Syria. (Those who were) from Pekanbaru were involved in purchasing weapons and conducting military training at the Gema Lipat Kain hills, Kampar (Riau), and (those who were) from South Sumatra (were) linked to Jamaah Anshar Khilafah," he explained, referring to two local groups that are affiliated with ISIS.

The detained suspects are being held at Police Mobile Brigade headquarters in Depok, just south of Jakarta.

The police has urged the public to be alert to any possible terrorist threats.