In­done­sia ar­rests al­leged re­cruiter for Marawi siege

New Straits Times - - News | Region -

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

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