Jakarta. At least 100 Indonesians known to have joined the Sunni militant group Islamic State in Syria have returned home, the country’s intelligence chief says.
Sutiyoso, the head of the State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, told reporters in Bandung on Tuesday that his office would “monitor and approach” the returnees, as quoted by Republika. He did not elaborate.
He also cautioned the public to deal with known returnees in a rational and cautious manner, and aid the BIN in anticipating any threats to public security.
Hamidin, the director of prevention at the National Counterterrorism Agency, or BNPT, said recruiters for Islamic State tended to lure new followers through promises of lucrative pay.
“The economical approach is more effective than the ideological approach,” he said, noting that this was markedly different from how homegrown radical movements typically recruited people to their cause.
Hamidin cited the case of a motorcycle taxi driver who was promised up to Rp 52 million ($3,775) a month to join Islamic State’s fight.
The government is currently powerless to prosecute Indonesians returning from fighting alongside Islamic State, unless they commit a crime in the country. Observers have expressed concern that some of the radicalized returnees could launch a Paris-style attack once back in Indonesia.
However, veteran terrorism expert Sydney Jones said at a panel discussion on Monday that any attack on the scale of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks was “highly unlikely” in Jakarta.