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Jakarta Post

Deradicalization efforts ‘must focus’ on migrant workers

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, October 2, 2019   /  03:56 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Former terrorists, ustadzs and ustadzahs gather at a communications workshop on countering violent extremism organized by Rosyid Nurul Hakiim and Noor Huda Ismail in 2018. (Courtesy of /Rosyid Nurul Hakiim.)

There is an urgent need for Southeast Asian countries to focus deradicalization efforts on the region’s migrant worker population, which, in recent months, includes those arrested over possible links to terrorist organizations, experts have said. Malaysia and Singapore made separate announcements last week about the arrest of more than a dozen people – mostly Indonesians – suspected of extremist links. Sidney Jones, the director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) in Jakarta, pointed to the possibility that migrant workers were being targeted by extremist groups, although she insisted the recent spate of attacks did not reveal new patterns of behavior by terrorist cells. “Those arrests were not just happening last week. We still don’t know who they are. Some are linked to the Jolo bombing and some probably are migrant workers,&rd...