Deradicalization program as a tool to combat terrorism in Indonesia: Problems and challenges

Heru Susetyo, Ph.D.1, Fachri Bey, Ph.D.2

1 Senior Lecturer Faculty of Law University of Indonesia, Depok – INDONESIA,
2 Senior Lecturer Faculty of Law University of Indonesia, Depok – INDONESIA,

In the aftermath of Bali Bombing 12 October 2002, which is considered as the biggest terrorism attack ever in Indonesia,   the Indonesian government launched so called ‘war against terrorism’.  Laws on terrorism were soon enacted and applied retroactively.   Special Police to Combat Terrorism, namely Detachment of 88 was formed.  Special Agency to coordinate counterterrorism measures was soon established, namely Badan Nasional PenanggulanganTerorisme or National Anti-Terrorism Agency.

Yet, from 2002 to 2016, number of terrorism attack in Indonesia have not been diminished.  Instead, there has been a shift of terrorism command.  From Al Qaeda-related link to ISIS network.  This phenomenon is seriously taken into account by National Anti-Terrorism Agency and Special Detachment of 88.  Since early 2010’s it has conducted special program to combat terrorism namely deradicalization program while the Detachment of 88 has launched more massive manhunt for suspected terrorism all over Indonesia,  supported by Indonesian military.

Deradicalization program targets former terrorism suspects and former inmates.  Also, it targets schools, universities, and other academic institutions suspected as being an agent for radical ideology dissemination in Indonesia.

Both deradicalization program and massive manhunt have created problems. At one side the Agency claimed that they have prevented terrorism, but on the other hand, they have victimized innocent people such as family of terrorist suspects and violated civil rights of former inmates.  In addition, by targeting specific academic institutions, the agency has been accused as arbitrarily labeling people as terrorist or future terrorist, which is a clear violation of human rights.

This research, therefore, is a study of deradicalization program in Indonesia which is conducted in Java Island where many terrorism attack took place.  It tries to describe the dynamic of the program between the need of law enforcement in the name of law enforcement and its impact to human rights and civil liberty.  The result of this study will contribute to the drafting of new Indonesian Anti-Terrorist policies which is currently under review.


Deradicalization, Terrorism, Victimization, Indonesia, Human Rights


Heru Susetyo, PhDis currently an Assistant Professor at Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia. Subjects : Victimology, Human Rights, Children Protection Law. Graduated from Universitas Indonesia (Bachelor & Master), Northwestern Law School,Chicago USA (Master in Intl Human Rights Law) & Mahidol University,Thailand (PhD in Human Rights & Peace Studies). Also admitted as External PhD Researcher at Tilburg University, The Netherlands since 2012.  During 2009-2015 had served as Executive Committee World Society of Victimology (WSV) representing Indonesia.

Fachri Bey, Ph.DIs Professor Emeritus of Victimology at Department of Criminal Law Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia. Obtained Ph.D  from UKM Malaysia

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