Jakarta: Indonesian police have detained a family of five, including three children, after they were deported from Turkey for allegedly seeking to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) group, an official said Thursday.
The family was the latest Indonesians to be caught attempting to join the jihadists. Hundreds of radicals from the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country have flocked to the Middle East to fight with IS in recent years.
The family left Indonesia for Turkey in August, from where they planned to cross to Syria to join IS, police said. But they were caught by Turkish soldiers this month and deported back to Indonesia, arriving late Tuesday on the resort island of Bali, local police spokesman Hengky Widjaja said.
“We interrogated them for two days,” he said. “This morning they were sent for further questioning by the national police (in Jakarta).”
The 39-year-old father received his masters degree in Australia and their youngest child — now aged three — was born in Australia, authorities said. The other two children are aged seven and 12.
Seventeen Indonesians were also arrested at the weekend after being deported from Turkey due to suspicions they were trying to reach Syria to join IS.
The emergence of IS has provided a potent new rallying cry for radicals in Indonesia, which has long struggled with Islamic militancy, and sparked fears of a revival of long-defunct extremist networks.
A gun and suicide attack in Jakarta last year, that left four civilians and four assailants dead, was the first attack claimed by IS in Southeast Asia, and the first major assault in Indonesia for seven years.