By Ainur Rohmah
TUBAN, Indonesia (AA) – Indonesian police revealed Saturday that they are investigating a video circulating online that appears to show Indonesian-speaking children receiving military training to fight for Daesh in Syria.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Agus Rianto told Anadolu Agency that a cybercrime unit has launched a probe to uncover those who made the video and the identities of those in its footage.
"We still continue to identify [the video]. Clearly, the video is intended for [Daesh] propaganda," he said, adding that he suspected the footage was not filmed in the Southeast Asian country.
The high quality 20-minute video shows boys in military uniform, possibly around 10-years in age, receiving firearms training and holding an AK-47 assault rifle.
At the beginning of the video, a suspected Daesh member speaking Arabic describes the “mistakes” committed by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, accusing them of submission to the United States.
An invitation to pledge allegiance to Daesh and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is then extended.
The video ends with footage of the burning of passports, some of them in the green tone used by Indonesia.
Rianto said Saturday that police are checking with relevant agencies, as they have done several times in cases involving Indonesian families trying to leave the country to join Daesh in the Middle East.
In March, Indonesian police at Jakarta Airport arrested 14 people -- among them several minors -- who allegedly sought to join the extremist group in Syria.
According to police data, around 483 Indonesian citizens -- including 40 children -- are currently with the group in the war-torn country.
A total of 250 people heading for Syria, six of them children, have been deported back to Indonesia.
Ridlwan Habib, an intelligence and terrorism expert at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, said that if the children in the video circulating online this week are actually from Indonesia, it could pose a serious problem for the country in the future.
Tribunnews.com quoted him as saying that the government has two options for addressing the threat presented by citizens traveling to fight in Syria -- to block those who join Daesh from returning to Indonesia, and to explore ways of bringing the children back home.
"The kids are still under state protection. They can be taken from their parents if they [parents] do not want to return to Indonesia," he said.
Indonesia has been on alert against extremist activities over the past year, further heightening security measures after a January attack in Jakarta killed eight people, including four Daesh-linked assailants.