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Jakarta Post

BNPT identifies 400 ex-terrorists ‘untouched’ by deradicalization program

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 2, 2017   /  10:19 pm
BNPT identifies 400 ex-terrorists ‘untouched’ by deradicalization program On alert – A fully armed police officer is on guard in the area of a house of a suspected terrorist in Batam, Riau Islands, during a raid conducted by personnel of the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad on Dec. 21. (Antara/MN Kanwa)

The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) said more than 400 former members of terrorist groups in Indonesia had not yet been touched by its deradicalization program.

“Currently, only 184 former terrorists in 17 provinces have attended the deradicalization program,” said BNPT deputy chairman for prevention, protection and deradicalization Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Kadir as quoted by Antara in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Thursday. He said the deradicalization program conducted by the BNPT was one of the agency’s terrorism monitoring activities.

“There are two deradicalization programs conducted by the BNPT, in societies and penitentiaries, in which we target terrorism inmates, which amount to 250 people who are currently serving their sentences in 77 prisons,” said Abdul.

He said the deradicalization program for former terrorists was not something easy to do, especially when ideologies were deeply rooted in their minds.

“Deradicalization needs to be provided for terrorist inmates because several terrorism acts that occurred in Indonesia recently had involved them. For example, Yayat Chadiyat, the perpetrator of the pressure cooker bomb attack plan in Bandung several days ago, is a former terrorism convict. He was just released in April 2015,” said Abdul.

He said challenges had hampered the BNPT’s deradicalization program for terrorism inmates because not all of them were willing to attend the program.

“We cannot do anything because it fully depends on them, on whether they want to join the program or not,” said Abdul.

One of ways deemed quite effective to approach former terrorists who had been released from prison was through economic support, he said. Not all former terrorism inmates could return to society or have a decent life after release.

“So we approach them by offering economic assistance,” he added. (dis/ebf)

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