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Jakarta Post

'Human touch' may help deradicalization, say ex-militants, experts

  • Kusumasari Ayuningtyas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 7, 2019   /  02:29 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Former terrorists, ustadzs and ustadzahs at a communications workshop on countering violent extremism organized by Rosyid Nurul Hakiim and Noor Huda Ismail in 2018. (Courtesy of /Rosyid Nurul Hakiim.)

Enjoying warm meals while chatting with one's family and loved ones may sound like an ordinary thing for most Indonesians. However, Yusuf Adirima, an ex-terror convict and former member of Al Qaeda-linked extremist network Jamaah Islamiyah, knows it well that those were considered luxuries back when he was serving his sentence in prison. Yusuf, aka Machmudi Hariono, was sent behind bars in 2004 after he was found guilty of storing explosive materials for bomb-making in Semarang, Central Java. Following his release in 2009, he struggled for years with life after prison and reintegrating back into society, but he eventually started his own restaurant and car rental business. But Yusuf understood that his feeling of yearning for “ordinary things” while in prison was shared by other terror inmates who were still serving their sentences behind bars. Since his re...