The Jakarta Post
A persuasive approach will play a pivotal role in capturing terrorist group members who are still at large because hunting them down or shooting them dead are only short-term solutions, experts said.
“We should not just hunt them, but ask them to surrender and promise them that they will be judged fairly in court because there is also a huge possibility they will take revenge if their leader is dead,” Taufik Andrie, a terrorism expert from the Peace Inscription Foundation, said Thursday.
Santoso, the leader of the East Mujahidin terrorist group, and one of his followers, Muchtar, were killed during a shootout with Operation Tinombala’s task force on Monday in Poso, Central Sulawesi. The operation itself has aimed to arrest Santoso and his followers since 2015, involving about 3,500 police and military personnel.
Previously, the new chief of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius, said the agency would focus on soft approaches in its fight against terrorism by, among others things, strengthening its deradicalization program.
Another terrorism expert, Al Chaidar, said the deradicalization program was critical to ensure that terrorists who decided to surrender could be integrated back into society.
“In the program, the BNPT can teach them about pluralism, introduce them to people with different backgrounds and find a place for them where the society can accept their situation. I know this is a long-term process,” he said. He added that if the deradicalization program was successful, other terrorists would likely surrender. (wnd/ebf)
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