Two Indonesian pilots are believed to have been radicalised by Islamic State and pose a global security risk, according to a leaked report from the Australian Federal Police.
Both pilots “appear to be influenced by pro-IS elements including extremist online propaganda by well-known radical Indonesia outlets and a suspected Indonesian foreign terrorist fighter who is likely to be in either Syria or Iraq”.
“On 16 March 2015, information was received by the AFP that indicated two possible Indonesian pilots, likely employees of AirAsia and Premiair, had posted information on their Facebook pages that inferred support to the Islamic State (ISIL)”, the report’s summary said.
“Pilots, air crew and others with access to and within the aviation environment can pose obvious threats if these persons are radicalized”, warned the Australian Federal Police document, which was forwarded to several worldwide intelligence agencies. “A recent edition of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire actively encouraged attacks within the aviation environment”.
When asked about the authenticity of the report, the Australian Federal Police issued an official statement, saying that it would not comment on matters of intelligence.
The Intercept says the report was distributed to security agencies in Jordan, London, Turkey and the U.S. and the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol.
Although it isn’t clear whether Agustin is now employed as a pilot, the report says he would still possess requisite skills to fly and together with his wife’s previous employment, would have current contacts within the aviation industry.
According to the report, Abu Alfatih is believed to have travelled to Australia, among other destinations around the world.
“The AFP maintains strong relationships with its domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to ensure the ongoing safety of Australians both within Australia and overseas”, it said.
Agustin is now believed to be in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.
Agustin is reportedly a ex- AirAsia pilot.
“Therefore we are unable to provide further comment on this matter”, she told AFP.
That pilot’s Facebook page says he worked for Premiair, an Indonesian charter carrier, and Garuda, Indonesia’s national airline, CNN reported.
It was at this time that the second pilot mentioned in the report, Tommy Abu Alfatih, began “liking” many of Agustin’s posts, the report says.
The document says there are fears the two men, who interacted on social media, could pose a terror threat after investigators examined their Facebook accounts. Facebook photos show him smiling in front of an AirAsia plane and with colleagues on the tarmac.
He began using phrases favoured by Islamist radicals, including referring to the police by the derogatory “ansharu thagut” – a term used “to describe police as helpers of the oppressive government”.
“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.