Indonesia arrests alleged recruiter for Marawi siege
DAVID SHOEBRIDGE, New South Wales member of parliament JAKARTA: Indonesian police yesterday arrested an alleged recruiter and fundraiser for proIslamic State militants locked in a bloody battle for control of the southern Philippine city of Marawi.
The man, detained at a residential complex on the outskirts of here, was believed to be a member of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian radical group that has pledged allegiance to IS, police spokesman Inspector-General Setyo Wasisto said.
“He finds people to send to Marawi and Syria,” Wasisto said in a text message. “How many is still unclear.”
Police also suspect he raised funds for recruitment.
Indonesian counterterrorism authorities believe at least 20 Indonesians were among the fighters, along with some from Malaysia and the Middle East, who flocked to Marawi, on the island of Mindanao, long afflicted by Islamist insurgencies.
Indonesian JAD members make up most of the senior leadership of the Southeast Asian military unit fighting for IS in Syria known as Katibah Nusantara.
Two of the leaders, Bahrumsyah and Bahrun Naim, had directed and inspired a series of militant attacks in Indonesia, Indonesian police said.
Southeast Asian nations had vowed to step up law enforcement and intelligence cooperation to fight the rising threat of violent Islamist extremism in the wake of the Marawi siege.
Fuelling concern is the possible return to Southeast Asia of hundreds of hardened IS fighters from the Middle East as its self-styled caliphate collapses. Reuters