Friday, February 27, 2015

More Than 500 Indonesians Have Joined Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

BANGKOK – More than 500 Indonesians have joined the ranks of the Islamic State, IS, jihadist group in Iraq and Syria while the authorities have not taken any precautionary measures, according to the country’s largest Muslim body, local media reported Friday.

“At least 514,” Nadhlatul Ulama Chairman Said Aqil Siraj told kompas.com, referring to the number of people who have joined the IS, after a meeting Thursday with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Siraj said that the president had not commented on the increasing number of Indonesians joining the jihadist group, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper.

A report by the country’s intelligence revealed the existence of an underground network, which was spreading around the country, for recruiting and indoctrinating people for the IS, despite an official ban on these activities.

The president has sought the support of the Muslim organization to fight radicalism, and threatened to criminalize support to the IS and revoke the citizenship of those found guilty of non-compliance.

Most Islamic countries have asked the president to bring Indonesia to the frontline in the fight against IS and radicalism, according to Siraj.

Indonesia is known to have the largest number of Muslims in the world, or more than 200 million people, most of whom are Sunnis.

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