An Indonesian man deported from Japan for immigration violations and suspected links to the Islamic State was in police custody in Lombok, officials said Friday.
Immigration offficials stopped the 44-year-old man, identified by his initials AM, at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali on Wednesday and handed him over to counterterrorism police for questioning, Agung Sampurno, a spokesman for Indonesian immigration, told BenarNews.
AM was sent home to Lombok, the island immediately east of Bali, the following day because Balinese police had completed their questioning, according to Hengky Widjaja, a spokesman for Bali Regional Police.
“At the moment he’s still being processed in Central Lombok,” he told BenarNews on Friday, adding that local police would want to enter his information into a database.
AM was deported because he had violated terms of his work permit and used false documents, and also because of indications he had joined the Islamic State (IS) group in Japan, Hengky said.
“He was a close friend of MAS who earlier was deported because his social media accounts were radical and supported IS,” he said, without clarifying further.
A West Nusa Tenggara man named Masdar was deported from South Korea in July 2016 for suspected links to IS, BeritaSatu reported at that time.
AM, a native of Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, went to Japan in 1997 and worked as a construction worker there, according to Agung Sampurno, the immigration spokesman. Mataram is on Lombok.
He was detained after his wife, also an Indonesian national, was involved in a car accident in mid-2016. While investigating the case, Japanese police learned that her husband was living illegally in Japan and using a false residency permit, Agung said.
“According to his testimony, he was arrested by Japanese police and deported on Feb. 14, 2017, buying his own ticket,” Agung said.
Suhardi Alius, head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), recently commented after Indonesians were deported from Turkey that no nation is immune from the threat of terrorism.
“Indonesians are deported not only from Turkey, but there are some from South Korea, some from Japan,” he said.
On Jan. 25, former Finance Ministry employee Triyono Utomo, his wife and three children were sent back to Indonesia from Turkey where they had been arrested after allegedly attempting to enter Syria to join IS.
They were detained on arrival in Indonesian but eventually released because of a lack of evidence needed to press terrorism-related charges against them, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto told BenarNews.
Since 2015, as many as 283 Indonesians have been deported from Turkey for allegedly intending to go to Syria, according to figures from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of August 2016, according to BNPT, 237 adults and 46 children from Indonesia were in Syria.