Indonesian swayed by ISIS via social media

Adam (not his real name) has an information technology degree and, like many young Indonesians, enjoys playing online games into the wee hours of the morning.

It was during one of those extended gaming sessions playing Flames Of War in 2010 that

Adam, then 20, started chatting with gamers who introduced him to Facebook pages and blogs of extremist militants.

Some of these pages were by Muhammad Alfian Nurzi, a 23-year-old from West Kalimantan, who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) some time between December last year and January.

Adam also regularly visited a blog by a militant known as Angsa Hitam, or black swan in Bahasa Indonesia.

Adam went missing on Sept 20, but 21 days later, the Turkish police arrested him in Gaziantep, a city in the western part of Turkey, less than 100km north of Aleppo, Syria.

The 25-year-old from South Jakarta was on the verge of entering Syria to join ISIS when he was nabbed.

Born into a Christian family, Adam converted to Islam under the influence of militants he met online.

Today, he is one of hundreds of Indonesians who made the trip to Turkey in the hope of fighting alongside ISIS militants.

That Adam was primarily influenced to join ISIS via social media confirms the growing reach of the terror group beyond the Middle East.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Indonesian swayed by ISIS via social media'. Print Edition | Subscribe