Indonesia detains former finance official for suspected IS links

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A former Indonesian finance ministry official has been detained on his return home after being deported from Turkey for trying to cross into Syria on suspicion of intending to join Islamic State, Indonesian authorities said on Friday.

Police identified the man as Triyono Utomo and said he was detained along with his wife and three children after they arrived back in the Indonesian island of Bali on Wednesday.

The finance ministry issued a statement to “clarify media reports about an ex-finance ministry official” being detained, but it did not give his name.

“He was a former civil servant at the finance ministry,” the ministry said, adding that the man had held a junior position and had resigned in early 2016, saying he wanted to set up an Islamic school on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.

“No legal assistance will be provided to him,” the ministry said.

Utomo and his family were in detention on Friday and not available for comment. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.

National police spokesman Rikwanto said Utomo and his family would be held for questioning for seven days, and it would then be decided whether or not to proceed with the investigation.

Media said Utomo had studied for a post-graduate degree in Australia.

Hundreds of people from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, have attempted to travel to Syria in the past few years. Some have been on humanitarian missions, some trying to join militant groups including Islamic State.

Indonesia has seen a recent resurgence in militant activity, inspired in part by Islamic State.

Last year, four men linked to the group mounted a gun and numb attack in the heart of the capital and killed four people.

It was the first attack in the region to be claimed by Islamic State.

Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo and Nilufar Rizky; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel