3 deported for supporting terrorist group

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3 deported for supporting terrorist group

South Korea has deported three Indonesian nationals for apparently supporting a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda, the country’s top spy agency announced Tuesday. A fourth man is still in custody.

The National Intelligence Service said that it had arrested and deported a 32-year-old man on Dec. 1, in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, for violating the Immigration Control Act.

He and the others, who were not identified, were believed to be supporters of the Nusra Front, a Jihadist group linked to Al Qaeda in Lebanon and Syria.

The 32-year-old man had reportedly expressed on Facebook his desire to engage in Jihad and stated that he would carry out a suicide bombing.

The spy agency said that a Jihadist flag had been found at the man’s home in North Gyeongsang and that he had created a bank account to raise funds for fighters in the Nusra Front.

On Nov. 18, police arrested a 33-year-old Indonesian national in Asan, South Chungcheong.

The man, who entered South Korea illegally in 2007 with a forged passport, apparently wrote on social media his intention to fight in the Syrian war and die a martyr. He was also found to have uploaded photos of himself wielding a Jihadist flag.

Police also found a Jihadist flag, a mock rifle and a bowie knife at his home. He was arrested and brought into custody on charges of forging a private document and illegally possessing an assault rifle and a knife.

A week later, two of the 33-year-old’s friends, also Indonesians, were apprehended in Buan, North Jeolla, and deported for illegally staying in the country. One reportedly admitted that he supported a terrorist group.

Officially supporting terrorist groups on social networking services (SNS) or fund-raising for them are not subject to criminal prosecution, according to current laws.

The government has pushed lawmakers in the weeks since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks to pass an anti-terrorism bill.

The Nusra Front was formed in Syria by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State (ISIS) in January 2012, with the aim to resist and overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government.

The United Nations and a number of countries designated the organization as a foreign terrorist organization in 2014.

BY SEO BOK-HYEON [koo.yurim@joongang.co.kr]

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