Indonesia detains British woman on ‘terror’ suspect list

Sailar, 47 is being held in Jakarta on visa violations.

The police document does not say why Sailar was listed along with some 400 other terror suspects, including her late husband who was killed in Syria in 2015, sources said [MUHAMMAD A.F/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]
The police document does not say why Sailar was listed along with some 400 other terror suspects, including her late husband who was killed in Syria in 2015, sources said [MUHAMMAD A.F/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Indonesia has detained a British woman named on a list of global terror suspects and plans to deport her for visa violations, authorities told the AFP news agency.

Tazneen Miriam Sailar – a Manchester-born convert to Islam once married to a now-deceased Indonesian fighter – is not charged with terror offences.

But she and her late husband are also on an Indonesian police list of suspected domestic and foreign fighters, which includes a Frenchman who appeared in the ISIL (ISIS) group’s beheading videos and another close to the brothers who massacred staff at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Sailar, 47, and her 10-year-old Indonesia-born son were being held in Jakarta after they were picked up last year on allegations she did not have the required documents to remain in the Southeast Asian nation, according to her lawyer Farid Ghozali.

“She was put (in detention) while awaiting her return which will be facilitated by the British Embassy,” Indonesian immigration directorate spokesman Ahmad Nursaleh told AFP, without elaborating.

British Embassy declines to comment

The British Embassy in Jakarta declined to comment and it was unclear when the deportation would happen.

The police document does not say why Sailar was listed along with some 400 other terror suspects, including her late husband who was killed in Syria in 2015, sources said.

The couple’s 2010 marriage was officiated by Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual head of group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), according to sources familiar with the case.

JI members were behind the Bali bombings which saw more than 200 people, including nearly 90 Australian holidaymakers, killed when massive blasts ripped through a pair of packed bars on the Indonesian holiday island in October 2002.

Sailar operated a charity named after her late husband, which sent aid to women and children in conflict-wracked Syria, sources said.

She arrived in Muslim-majority Indonesia in 2005 as a medical volunteer for a Christian humanitarian foundation that assisted victims of natural disasters, Ghozali and a source said.

Alleged members of the Taliban and ISIL appear on the Indonesian police list, as well as British national Anjem Choudary and Sally-Anne Jones, an ISIL recruiter reportedly killed in a US drone attack in Syria.

Maxime Hauchard, a now-dead French convert seen in a gruesome ISIL beheading video, was listed along with French fighter Peter Cherif, previously charged with the 2011 kidnapping of three French aid workers in Yemen and a close associate of the siblings who killed staff at Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

Sailar was born in Manchester on February 20, 1973, and holds a British passport, according to the list, which also said she goes by at least two aliases.

Indonesia’s counter-terror squad questioned Sailar but no charges were filed, her lawyer said.

“So we’re now focused on immigration matters,” he said, adding that Sailar wants to remain in Indonesia.

Source: News Agencies

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