Indonesian IS Leader’s Wife Among 75 Deported from Turkey

Tia Asmara
1702007_ID_DeportedIS_620.jpg Women walk past national counter terror police squad Densus 88 commandos conducting a raid on a house in Malang, East Java, March 26, 2015.

The wife of Indonesian Islamic State (IS) leader Bahrumsyah is among 75 people housed in a government shelter in East Jakarta, where they are to be rehabilitated after being deported from Turkey over attempts to join the militant group, a police official said Tuesday.

Bahrumsyah (alias Bachrumsyah Mennor Usman) is an Indonesian citizen based in Syria who is believed to be one of the founders of Katibah Nusantara, a combat unit of IS made up of fighters from Southeast Asia. The United States recently classified Bahrumsyah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Bahrumsyah’s wife, identified as NK, was detained with 16 Indonesians on Jan. 21 at Jakarta’s international airport upon their return from Turkey, National Police Spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto said.

“She departed [to Turkey] by herself, not accompanied by her child, to join her husband, Bahrumsyah in Syria,” Rikwanto told BenarNews in Jakarta.

Three days later, police arrested a former Indonesia Finance Ministry staffer, his wife and three children when they landed at Bali airport after being expelled from Turkey.

The 17 deportees and the family of five were released after investigations by the national counter terror police squad Densus 88 over a lack of evidence needed to press terrorism-related charges.

Instead, they were sent to the Bambu Apus social center in East Jakarta to receive guidance from the social ministry. Police said they are being educated on the country’s ideology of Pancasila and how to live in a community.

The center also is housing another 53 Indonesians who were deported from Turkey, but police did not elaborate on the details surrounding their deportations.

The 75 were identified as 17 men, 24 women and 34 children.

Bahrumsyah’s third wife

NK, who is from the city of Ujung Pandang in South Sulawesi province, left for Turkey in November 2016, according to Rikwanto. The widow of a militant, she married Bahrumsyah as his third wife and had been hiding in a safe house on the Turkish side of the border, waiting to cross into Syria.

“The modus is they were located in a hidden place in a rented apartment in a remote area, when at that time they were arrested by Turkish police during a raid,” Rikwanto said.

“NK was released because she has not done any terror acts. She went there only because of the instruction to join her husband.”

Social minister’s support

After visiting the center on Monday, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said she hoped the deportees could return to society and lead normal lives.

“They should be embraced and given an understanding on the danger of radicalism and terrorism,” she said in a news release.

Exclusion by society, Khofifah said, would hinder the social integration process of those who want to distance themselves from the IS.

“And it is not impossible that they will return to … radical groups if society does not treat them well,” Kofifah said.

The majority of deportees come from East Java province and many are well educated, she said. Some of them are relatives of IS members while others were invited by friends to join the group.

She said the children are in good condition.

“Some of them said they want to be a pilot, soldier, teacher or boxer. Some want to be a doctor, including a veterinarian. These precious dreams need to be kept alive by their parents,” Khofifah said.


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