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Jakarta Post

New BNPT chief faces tough challenge of ending deradicalization behind bars

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, May 12, 2020   /  05:50 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Police Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar wears a mask during his inauguration as the head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) on Wednesday.(Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

The new National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief is facing tough challenges to step up campaigns against violent extremism and the spread of radicalism behind bars. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated last week police Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar as the new BNPT head replacing fellow police officer Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius, who had led the BNPT since 2016. Terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail said deradicalization efforts in overcrowded prisons across the country, which had become fertile ground for terrorists to recruit and learn from each other, should be Boy's main focus in curbing the spread of terrorism. “In prisons, the BNPT should join hands with prison guards, who interact with them [the terror convicts] on a daily basis. The BNPT should build the capacity of these [guards to provide counternarratives],” Noor said. “The BNPT should c...