The Jakarta Post
The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has warned of the growing efforts by radical movements to spread their views through social media.
The agency’s deputy director for terrorism prevention, protection and deradicalization Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Kadir said the number of radical sites amounted to around 15,000.
“One of the radical groups whose existence has become more alarming is the Islamic State [IS]. As a new global terrorist power, the IS is striving to recruit young people as its members,” said Rahman.
Several recent terrorism cases showed that the terror perpetrators were aged between 20 and 30 years, he added.
Rahman said recent terrorist incidents included those in Paris, Brussels, Lahore and the bomb and gun attack on Jl.Thamrin, Central Jakarta, in January.
The Thamrin attack was perpetrated by young people and it was terrorist propaganda spread by radical groups via the cyber world that had influenced those young people to commit the crimes.
“Many radical sites have used Islam to mask their crimes as their content contradicts Islamic values. The radical movements now have a new pattern; they are getting smarter to benefit from information technology,” said Rahman.
The counterterrorism official was speaking at the opening of a dialogue entitled “Preventing the spread of radical and terrorist views and IS influence” held at the Military Area Command (Kodam) IV/Diponegoro in Semarang, Central Java, recently.
The BNPT’s terrorism prevention director Brig. Gen. Hamidin said the radical sites had created terrorists who were radicalized via the internet.
“They can learn how to create a home-made bomb or other terrorist actions on the internet,” he said.
Hamidin further explained that the internet had revealed new groups other than the 21 radical groups known to have affiliated with IS.
Ansor Youth Movement (GP Ansor), the youth wing of Indonesia’s biggest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), says it has built up the Ansor Cyber Army (ACA) to fight against radicalism and terrorism in the cyber world.
“We are preparing ACA to attack the campaigns of radical groups in social media,” GP Ansor chairman Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said.
He said cyber technology allowed all issues to develop on social media. Unfortunately, radical groups such as IS often used this technology as a propaganda and campaign tool.
That was why GP Ansor had instructed all elements of Ansor and Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser), the NU youth wing, to fight against the radical groups’ propaganda, which threatened the unity of the Republic of Indonesia, via the cyber world, Qoumas said.
“We, the Ansor members, have always been willing to fight against radical groups both in the written and cyber world,” he asserted.
Qoumas explained the radical groups had continued to boost their campaigns. Citing an example, the Ansor leader mentioned the installing of banners and other attributes emblazoned with messages that called for the establishment of the Khilafah Islamiyah (Islamic Empire), which occurred in areas of NU support.
“They’re conducting a huge campaign; thus, we have to fight it on an equally big scale,” said Qoumas. (ebf)
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