Indonesia Runs Out of Prison Space for Extremist Detainees

ICC Note: A Jakarta-based think tank has warned that Indonesia doesn’t have enough security facilities to hold a dramatically increased number of extremists. They also warned that a cluster of IS members are among 144 prisoners who have been released or will be released in the near future.

08/10/2018 Indonesia (Channel News Asia) – Indonesia does not have enough maximum security facilities to hold a dramatically increased number of extremists, who have either been convicted or are awaiting trial, a Jakarta-based think tank has warned.

The latest report by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) also warned that a cluster of Islamic State (IS) members are among 144 prisoners who have either been released since January 2017 or are completing their sentences between now and December 2019.

“The group of 144 released and soon-to-be-released prisoners include the first significant cluster of individuals with Syria links to have completed prison sentences,” IPAC director Sidney Jones said in the report.

“In the future, Indonesia will have to be prepared for more offenders with Syria links being released, raising the question of how to avoid the development of a possibly dangerous ‘IS alumni network’ among ex-prisoners … how to monitor possible ongoing communication with contacts in Syria.

“It is a reminder that Indonesia has to start thinking now about what happens when the men with pro-IS JAD (Jemaah Ansharut Daulah) links start coming out; as a group they may be tougher to handle than members of other organisations because they have defined themselves so much in terms of enmity to the state, extreme takfiri ideology and violence.”

A takfiri is an extremist who sees Muslims who do not subscribe to their beliefs as infidels or non-believers.

IS has used the takfir ideology to justify killing of anyone who does not fulfil the group’s criteria of “true” belief.

JAD is an IS-linked Indonesian militant group that was behind a string of terror attacks in Indonesia, including last May’s Surabaya bombings. Its leader, Aman Abdurrahman, is a foremost IS ideologue in Indonesia.

IPAC said in its report that the authorities have to find ways to prevent freed IS prisoners who are preachers from disseminating the takfiri ideology.

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