Pilots radicalized?: Indonesian Pilots

Published: July 12, 2015

Pilots radicalized?: Indonesian Pilots, Jakarta. The government is investigating a report that suggests two Indonesian pilots have expressed serious support on social media for the Islamic State movement, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno told reporters on Thursday.

“We keep working together with the BNPT [National Counterterrorism Agency], BIN [the State Intelligence Agency], the police – monitoring [developments like these] – including also with immigration,” Tedjo said. “This is just a report. We’ll deal with it as soon as it turns out there’s truth to it. I will talk with BIN, the police and the BNPT.”

The issue was raised in a report published on the investigative journalism website The Intercept, which quoted an operational intelligence report from the Australian Federal Police dated March 18, 2015, which is also provided on the site.

In the AFP report – which appears to be based mainly on the men’s alleged activity on Facebook and other social media – the pilots are identified as Ridwan Agustin (a.k.a. Ridwan Ahmad Al Indonesiy) and Tomi Hendratno (or Tommy Abu Alfatih).?

Ridwan is said to have been working for AirAsia since 2009, but The Intercept’s article quotes an AirAsia spokeswoman as saying he is no longer employed by that company.

Tomi is said to be a former member of the Indonesian Military (TNI) who joined Garuda Indonesia in 2010 after serving as a Navy pilot and later joining an aviation company called Premiair in 2012. According to the article, the pilot no longer works for Premiair.

A senior official with the National Police’s anti-terror squad, Densus 88, told the Jakarta Globe an condition of anonymity that the unit was also trying to verify the information. The source did say that the two pilots had been placed on a list of people not allowed to enter the United States, because of suspected ties to the Islamic State.

When asked about the whereabouts of the men, the source said they were probably still in Indonesia.

The Jakarta Globe was not able to confirm the claims made in the AFP report or those in the article on The Intercept.


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