Indonesia's BNPT head pays visit to Ali Fauzi, Umar Patek

Indonesia's BNPT head pays visit to Ali Fauzi, Umar Patek

Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Head Commissioner General Suhardi Alius and his colleagues visited a former terrorist and a terror inmate in East Java, Friday, to cultivate a sense of familyhood under the agency's deradicalization efforts.

The two figures were Ali Fauzi Manzi, who is presently head of the Peace Circle Foundation (YLP), and Umar Patek, serving a 20-year prison term at the Porong Penitentiary, the agency noted in its press statement that ANTARA received here on Saturday.

Alius and his colleagues paid a visit to Manzi, the younger brother of Ali Imron, Muklas, alias Ali Gufron, and Amrozi, involved in the first Bali bombing, at the foundation secretariat in Tenggulun Village, Solokuro Sub-district, Lamongan District.

After visiting Manzi, Alius and his entourage then headed to Porong Prison in Sidoarjo District to meet Umar Patek.

Alius was quoted as saying that Manzi and Patek have changed for the better and forging a sense of familyhood with them and their family members and siblings was a positive step forward.

He thereafter shed light on YLP's efforts to support deradicalization efforts by promoting the ideology of moderate Islam along with accommodating former terrorists and offering them economic access.

Owing to its positive role, the foundation has currently become one of the references and role models of the international community in its efforts to fight terrorism, he noted.

"This is the example that we need to endorse in this republic, so that those not knowing much about nationalism and nationhood earlier can now develop a sense of love for the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. They are also eager to become our envoys," he noted.

Alius further averred that visiting Manzi and Patek was testament to the state's contribution to the deradicalization efforts, in which both former terrorists and terror inmates, who had been transformed, would be engaged and aided optimally.

Terrorists have, since 2000, targeted Indonesia through a bevy of attacks, and the spread of radicalism and terrorism continues to pose a threat to the nation until now.

Antara noted that in May 2018, a church in the East Java city of Surabaya was attacked. Three years ago, ISIS supporters in Indonesia had launched a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, resulting in the deaths of eight people, including three innocent civilians.