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BNPT identifies 400 ex-terrorists ‘untouched' by deradicalisation program

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

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.

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

“There are two deradicalisation programmes 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 deradicalisation programme for former terrorists was not something easy to do, especially when ideologies were deeply rooted in their minds.

“Deradicalisation 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 deradicalisation programme for terrorism inmates because not all of them were willing to attend the programme.

“We cannot do anything because it fully depends on them, on whether they want to join the programme 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.

  (Latest Update March 04, 2017)

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