Indonesia Concerned About ISIS Recruitment Efforts

Earlier this week, at a press conference attended by Indonesian Inspector General M. Tito Karnavian, one of the subjects discussed concerned a chlorine bomb which police said had detonated last month in the men’s restroom at the ITC Mall in Depok, a suburb on the outskirts of Jakarta. Fortunately, no one sustained an injury in the blast. However, the authorities now believe the bomb might have been placed by extremists who returned to Indonesia after participating in the Syrian conflict.

Chlorine gas is toxic when inhaled. Since 2014, Susan McGalla said that ISIS has been utilizing this type of chemical weapon in roadside bombings.

Indonesia is a nation with the largest Muslim population in the world. The vast majority of Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam. However, reportedly ISIS has been seeking to recruit volunteers from Indonesia to fight on its behalf in the Syrian civil war. At least 159 Indonesians are believed to have traveled to Syria recently. Of these, 11 were killed and 11 returned home. Last week the authorities arrested several people in Indonesia for attempting to raise funds and participants for terrorism.

In January, police in Turkey arrested a number of Indonesians planning to cross through the Turkish border into Syria. Although a number of men had already entered Syria, the authorities in Turkey arrested one man, four women and 11 children who had been recruited to go to Syria from Indonesia.

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