Police officers present items seized from a young Islamic State supporter, last week in Jambi. (Antara Photo/Wahdi Septiawan)

No Passport for 16 Alleged IS Sympathizers From Bekasi


MARCH 31, 2015

Bekasi. To prevent them from traveling abroad, a group of 16 suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State group will not be able to get an Indonesian passport, the Bekasi Immigration Office has said.

Immigration officials were informed by police of the possibility that the group could try to join IS.

"They live in Bekasi," said Permana, head of the communication and information section at the immigration office, adding that the alleged radicals would not be able to get a passport. "We've already coordinated with other immigration offices."

Permana said that none of the group of 16 had so far applied for travel documents.

Separately, Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi said on Monday that he was pleased with the fact that authorities had managed to identify the 16 alleged IS sympathizers before it was too late.

"I am obviously grateful that this group of Bekasi citizens allegedly involved in this network has been banned [from traveling abroad]," Rahmat said.

"A while ago there was a declaration of support [here] for ISIS in the Middle East," the mayor added, referring to the group by another common acronym. "The police gathered information, and took preventive steps to make sure the ISIS ideology doesn't spread in the city of Bekasi."

Also on Monday, the Indonesian Military (TNI) vowed to wage war on IS followers in Indonesia, as a new survey showed that one in every 14 high-school students in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java, sympathized with the movement.

“The TNI believes ISIS should not be given any opportunity to develop in Indonesia," TNI commander Gen. Moeldoko said at the armed forces’ headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta. "ISIS should not be given room anywhere."

The survey, by the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, involved nearly 700 students from 76 high schools in Jakarta and 38 in Bandung. It showed that 7 percent of the respondents agreed with the IS movement’s aims.

“That means one in every 14 students agrees with ISIS,” Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the non-governmental group, said in Jakarta on Monday.

He added that 75 percent of students have heard of IS, mostly from social media and the Internet. Most have a negative view of the radical movement, saying that they recognize that IS a sadistic group intent on spreading terror and using violence in the name of religion.

But those who sympathize with IS, do so because they believe the terror group has established an Islamic caliphate. They said they agreed with the view that Indonesia’s founding principles as laid out in Pancasila should be replaced with Islamic ideology.