Saudi Arabia to Assist Indonesia in Rehabilitating Terrorists


JANUARY 22, 2017

Jakarta. Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate or GID, has worked with Indonesia's National Counterterrorism Agency, or BNPT, to help the latter in its effort to prevent radicalization of Indonesian youths and rehabilitating former terrorists.

BNPT Chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius visited Saudi Arabia on Jan. 11-16 to strengthen relations between the two agencies and get top tips from the GID's deradicalization program.

"The visit should help up set up a counterterrorism program which includes deradicalization, from top to bottom," Suhardi said in Jakarta on Saturday (21/01).

Suhardi and other high-ranking BNPT officials also went to the Muhammad bin Naif Consultation and Guidance Center in Saudi Arabia to study rehabilitation of former terrorists and to learn from their experience of preventing Muslim groups from being radicalized.

"We exchanged various information and knowledge. We also saw how deradicalization is done by the Saudi government," Suhardi said.

The general added that the Indonesian government has been focusing on preventing the spread of radical ideologies in Indonesia as it poses great risks to the country's security and may damage the peaceful image of Islam — the majority religion in Indonesia.

The head of the intelligence directorate at Saudi Arabia’s Home Affairs Ministry, Abdul Aziz Alhwairny, said BNPT's visit is proof of the good relations between it and GID.

Alhwairny said Saudi Arabia has nothing but praise for BNPT’s effort to fight terrorism in Indonesia.

To honor members of Indonesia's elite counterterror unit Densus 88 who died in the field of battle, the kingdom will offer free hajj pilgrimages to their families.

The Muhammad bin Naif Center will also offer deradicalization training for BNPT officers, Alhwairny added.

A deradicalization program typically involves rehabilitating former terrorists and radicalized youths before returning them to their communities.

Currently more than 240 convicted terrorists in 72 prisons all around Indonesia and 478 freed former terror convicts in 17 provinces have undergone rehabilitation programs.