BNPT: Terrorists Are Getting Younger, Changing Their Methods of Attack
Ezra Sihite & Bayu Marhaenjati
The rehabilitation of terrorists will not happen overnight, as it requires time, patience and persistence to root out deeply ingrained ideologies in the minds of radicals, the head of the National Counterterrorism Agency said.
But violent radical groups continue to attract new recruits, Ansyaad Mbai said on Friday, despite concerted de-radicalization efforts by the agency, known as the BNPT.
“Don’t expect to see immediate results from the de-radicalization efforts. You can’t change extremely militant people, even though you might talk to them hundreds of times,” Ansyaad said.
Ansyaad denied assertions that increasing numbers of radicals in the country was due to a lack of de-radicalization efforts, saying that despite successes in individual cases, the nature and methods of terrorist organizations were fluid, and were constantly adapting to law enforcement procedures and goals.
Terrorists have been targeting individuals recently, as seen in a series of attacks in Solo on police officers and outposts in recent weeks.
Ansyaad said that in Saudi Arabia, the government allocated a large amount of its budget for de-radicalization programs, providing dormitories to house suspected or known terrorists during rehabilitation, and even sending their children to school.
But even those efforts, Ansyaad said, were no guarantee that radicals would abandon their beliefs.
“The [terrorists’] children were sent to school but some of them still turned out to be Al Qaeda commanders, so there’s no guarantee.”
He added that radicals in Indonesia were getting younger, with some being arrested while in their teens.
Farhan Mujahidin and Mukhsin Sanny Permadi, two Solo terrorists who were recently gunned down by police officers, were only 19.
Terrorism analyst Al Chaidar on Thursday urged police and authorities to declare a state of emergency in areas that are hotbeds for terrorist activities.
“All this time the government has always tried to show that the country is safe when it’s not,” he told Beritasatu.com. “This country is big and there are groups with different ideologies here.”