Preventive Measures in Overcoming the Threat of Terrorism Need to be Optimized

In the span of four days, there were two terrorist attacks, namely the suicide bombing at the Makassar Cathedral church on March 28, 2021 and the shooting at the National Police Headquarters on March 31, 2020. These two events show that terrorism is still a serious and real threat faced by Indonesia.

We view that acts of terrorism are acts that are absolutely not justified under any pretext and purpose. Acts of terrorism are a real threat to our security and humanity. In its development, today's acts of terrorism are increasingly more complex. The action is not only carried out by a group but can also be done alone (lone wolf).

The development of technology and the dynamics of the rapid flow of information-communication have provided the availability of new resources and methods for terrorist actors to achieve their goals. The perpetrators of terrorist acts no longer move in a situation of isolation. The space and opportunities possessed by terrorist actors to carry out their actions are getting wider. This makes the phenomenon of terrorism relatively difficult to predict to determine when and where terrorist groups will carry out their actions.

Efforts to take action against perpetrators of acts of terrorism, including revealing the network of their groups which have been carried out through law enforcement instruments, are indeed an important step that needs to be carried out. In theory, the disclosure of the network and the arrest of a number of suspected terrorists that have been carried out by the police will undeniably trigger a resistance reaction from the terrorist group. However, the State in this case is the police must not back down let alone lose to terrorist groups. It is the duty of the State to ensure the safety of the community, including from the threat of terrorism.

Moreover, we consider that in the context of countering the threat of terrorism, a comprehensive and systematic policy is needed to address the root causes while remaining in harmony with the life of a democratic state, a state of law and human rights. State policy to tackle the threat of terrorism does not only include counter-terrorism measures based on a security approach by taking action, but what is also important is to maximize the formulation of preventive measures (Anti-terrorism) which are directed to overcome the factors driving terrorism and violent extremism.

Prevention (Anti-terrorism) policies are all policies intended to prevent and eliminate opportunities for the growth of terrorism. As a preventive policy, anti-terrorism requires comprehensive socio-economic cultural, political, and foreign relations dimensions.

We consider that as long as the spread of hatred based on race, ethnicity, and culture continues to spread on social media and an exclusive perspective in society and religion is still strong, followed by an intolerant attitude, it will encourage a social situation that is conducive to the growth of terrorism and violent extremism.

At this point, strengthening the handling of terrorism is not by strengthening the authority of coercive instruments such as plans to involve the TNI to deal with acts of terrorism or giving excessive new authority to the police, but what must be considered and encouraged is how to build an effective prevention mechanism (Anti-Terrorism) to deal with it, starting from the deradicalization agenda to counter-radicalization.

Preventive measures that are comprehensive in nature also need to involve all stakeholders, both in the government and the community, given the complexity of the roots and problems of terrorism. In this context, these works need to optimize the role of BNPT, religious leaders, the community, the role of the community, the world of education, families and others. Partial policies and strategies are difficult to produce optimal results given the complexity of the roots and sources of the problems.

Jakarta, April 1st, 2021

  1. Gufron Mabruri (Direktur Imparsial) / 081213340612
  2. Al Araf (Peneliti Senior Imparsial) /08121334061
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