Fadli, Batam – The Batam Police in Riau Islands province are monitoring former members of the Katibah Gonggong Rebus (KGR) radical group following a suicide bombing at the Medan Police headquarters in North Sumatra.
Members of the KCR were accused in 2016 of plotting a rocket strike against Singapore.
Batam Police chief Insp. Gen. Andap Budi Revianto said recently that former terror convicts would also be required to participate in a deradicalization program. The program will be run by two police directorates: the community guidance directorate (Dirbimas) and the intelligence and security directorate.
"Apart from the KGR, another group will also be monitored, although I can't reveal more details about it at this time. The force has put both groups on our deradicalization radar," Andap told The Jakarta Post recently
The police chief, however, failed to mention whether members of the two groups had participated in a deradicalization program organized by the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the Social Affairs Ministry.
The East Jakarta District Court convicted in 2017 six members of Batam-based KGR for their involvement in the radical group as well as plotting a terror attack against the neighboring city-state of Singapore.
The six convicted members – Eka Saputra, Trio Safrido, Tarmizi, Gigih Rahmat Dewa, Hadi Gusti Yanda and Leonardo Hutajulu – were believed to be supporters of Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant who supported the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria, who was reportedly killed in a drone strike during counterterrorism operations in 2018.
While Rahmat was sentenced to four years in prison, the others were only sentenced to three years.
Riau Islands acting governor Isdianto said the provincial administration had also become a spearhead for deradicalization to prevent the spread of radical beliefs among the people.
In Batam, two institutions have been allocated funds and tasked with addressing deradicalization, namely the Coordination Forum for the Prevention of Terrorism (FKPT) and the Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB).
"I believe cooperation among law enforcers and the regional administration will succeed in preventing the spread of radical beliefs," Isdianto said.
A former participant of the deradicalization program – identified only as YI – however, said the current program was ineffective in assisting participants to find a way to make a living, which was one of the program's main purposes.
YI was a former migrant worker who was deported from Singapore on suspicion of being involved in a radical group. After her deportation, she participated in a two-month deradicalization program run by the BNPT and the Social Affairs Ministry.
"Most of the time during the program was spent eating and sleeping. An NGO later provided assistance by giving as capital to open a business. However, my fried banana chip business in Cilacap failed," YI told the Post recently.
She currently lives in Batam with her children and husband, who works as a security guard. (kuk)