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Indonesia's anti-terrorist programme for schools gets US$3m
Publication Date : 11-01-2013
A senior counterterrorism official said that the Indonesian government would spend 36 billion rupiah (US$3.7 million) this year on a programme to tackle the proliferation of radical groups at educational institutions.
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) secretary Air Marshal Chairul Akbar said that spending on the programme would comprise 30 per cent of the agency’s budget of 120 billion rupiah, which itself was increased by 30 per cent over the BNPT’s 92 billion rupiah budget in 2012.
“The agency’s Operations Division and Prevention, Protection and Deradicalisation Division will receive around 36 billion rupiah each. Our International Cooperation Division will receive a smaller amount,” the air marshal told The Jakarta Post in Jakarta.
Chairul said that the agency would continue to implement the anti-terrorism education programmes in universities and schools, particularly in pesantren (Islamic boarding schools).
Counterterrorism analyst Harits Abu Ulya said that the government must assess the agency’s performance before releasing its budget for 2013.
“Its spending and performance last year should be reviewed to discover the effectiveness of its programmes in tackling terrorism,” Harits, the director of the Community of Ideological Islamic Analyst, told the Post over the telephone.
He offered a curt assessment of the BNPT’s progress to date: “With a growing number of terrorist attacks in 2012, I think the agency has failed.”
Harits said that the current batch of terror suspects were getting younger, with some suspects arrested in their teens. “Indonesia is facing a third generation of so-called terrorists. The first generation was trained in Afghanistan, while the second group was involved in community conflicts in Poso, Central Sulawesi and Ambon. It is harder to read the pattern of this new generation, as the individuals belong to diverse groups,” he said.
Harits said that the BNPT should forge partnerships with terrorist cells, rather than intensifying its educational programmes. “The agency has cornered certain groups like Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid by calling them public enemies. The BNPT must treat them fairly by opening up a dialogue,” he said.
He also criticised the BNPT’s educational initiative: “The programme creates resistance because it did not consist of strong counterarguments,” he said.
Chairul agreed. “What we need is a party that can coordinate our communications with the groups,” he said.