BNPT urges regions to divert greater attention to terrorism

BNPT urges regions to divert greater attention to terrorism

Head of the National Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) Comm. Gen Suhardi Alius gave his speech at the opening of a national working meeting of the Coordination Forum for Terror Prevention (FKPT) 2020 in Jakarta. (ANTARA/Iskandar Zulkarnaen/sh)

Hence, they would need to follow up on the deradicalization process in their respective regions
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) has appealed to local governments to channel greater attention to the threat of terrorism and deliver a common response to counter radicalism.

BNPT Head Comm. Gen Suhardi Alius remarked that regions currently have different commitments and response to counter radicalism and terrorism.

"I have reported this to the secretary general of the Home Affairs Ministry and the Directorate General of Political and Administration, who are also present here. Hence, they can urge regional leaders to pay more attention to counterterrorism efforts," Alius stated during the installment of officials of the Coordination Forum for Terror Prevention (FKPT) here on late Monday.

He cited the example of the handling of 75 deported Indonesians, who had attempted to enter Syria via Turkey. The BNPT, in cooperation with the Social Affairs Ministry, has conducted deradicalization for a month before sending them back to their hometowns.

However, Alius admitted that a month of deradicalization would not automatically ween them off radicalism, for they might have been indoctrinated since long.

Hence, they would need to follow up on the deradicalization process in their respective regions, he emphasized.

Unfortunately, Alius stated that every region had a different response to handling these deportees. Some regions only managed to pick them up, while some others could follow up on the deradicalization process, such as in Central Java, East Java, and Sulawesi.

The Home Affairs Ministry and BNPT had, in fact, inked an agreement in 2018 pertaining to the handling of deportees in terrorism.

"We need to have a regulation in place or the commitment of local administrations, both provinces and districts/cities, to support the role of BNPT and FKPT," he noted.

In another case, the BNPT had warned Banten Province over the threat of terrorism based on a research of the agency.

However, the province failed to respond to the warning until October 10, 2019, and Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto was stabbed by a man exposed to ISIS radicalism.

The BNPT has named five regions -- Aceh, Riau, Central Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, and East Java -- as the areas most prone to terrorism, according to its research in 2019.

"However, other regions should not become careless over the handling of terrorism. Never say that 'we are safe here, we are free from radicalism and terrorism'. This is since as long as there is a terrorist network, there is potential for radicalism and terrorism," he noted.

In several cases, people are exposed to radicalism after learning about religion from Google, so it would be important to explore local wisdom to increase the people's immunity against radicalism, Alius added.

Related news: Universities susceptible to being exposed to radicalism: Alius

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