In Brief

Airline pilots from Indonesia 'radicalised by Islamic State'

Leaked report from Australian police reveals two commercial pilots who flew international routes were pro-IS

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.

The documents, obtained by the investigative journalism site The Intercept, revealed that professional pilots Tommy Hendratno and Ridwan Agustin had been sharing pro-IS content on their social media account and as a result were under police surveillance.

Agustin had previously worked as pilot for Air Asia, flying both international and domestic routes. In September last year, he began interacting online with Indonesian militants fighting in Syria and Iraq and expressed a desire to join the fight in Kobane. In March, he posted his current location as Raqqa, Syria – Islamic State's de facto capital.

Hendratno, meanwhile, was employed by VIP airline Premiair until last month. The report revealed that he was living near Jakarta and had previously been a pilot for the Indonesia Navy. His social media profile says he underwent further flight training in the United States in February. While he was there, he shared numerous videos of gruesome IS beheadings on Facebook.

The police report concluded that radicalised pilots were an obvious threat to international security. "Their access and knowledge of security and safety regimes provides the ability to attempt attacks as witnessed by past global events," it warned.

The Australian intelligence was shared with security services in Turkey, Jordan, Britain, the US and Europol, but the Indonesian government says the report was never given to them. Local authorities are now attempting to trace the two men.

Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, is struggling to stop radicalised nationals travelling to join militants in the Middle East. More than 500 Indonesians fighters are estimated to have joined IS, with numbers soaring in recent months.

In response to the leak, AFP said it would not comment on intelligence matters. "The AFP maintains strong relationships with its domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to ensure the ongoing safety of Australians both within Australia and abroad," it said.

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