Taiwan Deports Indonesian Worker for Possible ISIS Ties

Taiwan Deports Indonesian Worker for Possible ISIS Ties
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
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The migrant worker was reportedly radicalized after she began using Facebook in Taiwan.

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Taiwan deported an Indonesian migrant worker to Jakarta on Feb. 22 on suspicion of joining the Islamic State (ISIS). Indonesian officials say this is the first case of an Indonesian migrant worker being deported from Taiwan for ties to the terrorist organization, CNA reports.

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Taiwanese authorities worked with the FBI to arrest the woman, Tri Astiningsih, on Feb. 21. She was then deported to Jakarta and taken into custody by Detachment 88, an Indonesian government anti-terrorism unit.

At a press conference on Feb. 27, Indonesia’s national police spokesman Rikwanto said that Tri Astiningsih became radicalized after she started working in Taiwan and began using Facebook, CNA reports. She had no known links to ISIS prior to leaving Taiwan.

More Indonesian women are becoming involved in terrorist activities through social networks like Facebook, according to The Institute of Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), which researches terrorism in Southeast Asia. IPAC recently released a report on women terrorists in Indonesia, which urged the Indonesian government to take action against an increasing number of female terrorists.

The IPAC report notes that the internet has allowed Indonesian women to actively engage in radical chat forums, and more women have expressed wishes to take up active combat roles.

The arrest of Tri Astiningsih comes as Taiwan tightens its security in preparation for the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei this August. An Indonesian immigration official also told CNA that several other Indonesians working in Taiwan are currently under surveillance for possible links to ISIS.

The Indonesian police have called for Indonesians working in Taiwan to remain calm, as the Indonesian and Taiwanese authorities are working closely together to combat terrorism.

While Taiwan has remained relatively low on the radar in terms of terrorist threats, Indonesian officials in March 2016 warned of Indonesian workers in Taiwan who had joined ISIS. Taiwanese academics have also called for anti-terror legislation to be drafted, and the former head of the Associated Press Taiwan Bureau, Peter Enav, noted that Taiwan has an “abysmally low-security awareness quotient."

Editor: Olivia Yang

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