A 25-year-old pregnant Indonesian woman working as a maid in Hong Kong has ‘gone missing’ after allegedly telling a friend she planned on traveling to Syria with her husband to join the ranks of Islamic State (IS).
Romlah Rosedah, chairwoman of the Indonesian Migrant Muslim Alliance, was quoted in an SCMP report as saying that the woman, known as Najma, borrowed money from another maid before seemingly taking off for Syria on February 27.
“She told our mutual friend that she would pay her back once she arrived in Syria. The friend said [Najma] was going there with her husband to join Islamic State and she would return the money when she was there,” said Rosedah, who had met Najma before and recently talked to the mutual friend who lent Najma money. The alliance is a well-established group representing nine domestic helpers’ organisations in Hong Kong.
“One day [in July] she asked me how to get to Syria. I told her that Syria had no diplomatic representatives in Hong Kong,” Rosedah told the South China Morning Post.
Rafail Walangitan, an Indonesian consular official in the city, could not confirm the report and said that while there are plenty of cases of Indonesians going to Syria from Indonesia, “we haven’t heard about them going there from Hong Kong.”
The claims come days after reports that IS had begun targeting Hong Kong’s Indonesian domestic helpers. A Hong Kong maid agency told Oriental Daily News that many workers were passing around what appeared to be IS recruitment pamphlets on Sunday. The pamphlets from a group called Mujahiddah of Islam were promoting a prayer meeting and featured a flag resembling that of IS. The meeting was cancelled, however, and the group said that the “flag” was actually a common Muslim symbol, according to SCMP.
A police source said that no intelligence exchange has so far taken place to indicate that an Indonesian had left for Syria from Hong Kong or that the special administrative region is a target for attack.
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Xinjiang residents recruited by IS planned terror activities upon return, official says
ISIS threat sparks fear of attack on Taipei
Islamic State executed 3 of its militants from China, Global Times reports