Three denied passports after bids to join ISIS

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Three denied passports after bids to join ISIS

Three Koreans in their 20s — including a young woman — were denied passport issuances by the government over the past year for their alleged attempts to join the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Sunday.

The government denied issuing a passport to a young man earlier this year, for breaching national security, said Park Joo-sun, a four-term lawmaker of the opposition People’s Party and member of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

He was reported to have engaged in suspicious behavior including trying to obtain information about ISIS over the internet and attempting to illegally enter Syria, the hub of the jihadist group.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not issue a passport to him in April following a review of his application after receiving notice from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) in March, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

Park also uncovered through documents obtained by the Foreign Ministry that the government did not issue passports for two other people in for similar reasons.

The woman was denied a passport in April 2015 and the man in September that year, said the ministry.

This follows the disappearance of a Korean teenager surnamed Kim during a trip to Turkey in January 2015 who was later revealed by the NIS to have joined ISIS and was receiving training at an unidentified location. The 18-year-old boy was last seen near Turkey’s border with Syria.

Police found that the boy had researched how to join ISIS online prior to his disappearance and also showed deep interest in the radical group over social media.

Following Kim’s disappearance, the Korean government vowed to prevent any similar instances of young people attempting to join ISIS.

In November of last year, Saenuri Party Rep. Lee Cheol-woo of the parliamentary Intelligence Committee said that there were at least 10 Koreans who had publicly expressed support for ISIS.

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