Sunday, 24 March 2019 | 20:56 WIB

Observer Reveals Indonesia Has Distinctive Pattern of Terrorist Recruitment

Terrorists who are detained in Mako Brimob (Police Mobile Brigade Corps HQ).

JAKARTA, NNC - Terrorism observer from Universitas Indonesia (UI) Solahudin revealed Indonesia has a distinctive pattern of terrorist recruitment compared to other countries.

Solahudin said other countries tend to conduct terrorist recruitment via social media. Solahudin said the pattern of social media recruitment is done by European countries even in Malaysia.

"Meanwhile in Indonesia, radicalization takes place in social media but recruitment takes place offline, [via] face-to-face. So it is not through cyberspace," said Solahudin during the West Independence Forum (FMB) 9 at the Office of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Wednesday (5/16/2018).

Solahudin further explained that last year he conducted a research on 75 terrorists and asked them how they were introduced to radical understanding.

Apparently, nine percent admitted to joining the extremist groups via social media, the rest which is 91 percent were recruited through offline, i.e., by face to face, one of them through religious forums. "So the recruitment was via offline, radicalization was via online," he continued.

Solahudin added there are various reasons for the recruitment of radicalism via offline, among others, the Indonesian people still consider meetings and face to face are very important. Through face to face, there is freedom of expression, moreover there is no article in the Law which can ensnare parties who promote terrorism.

"There is no Law. So, they [radical groups] have the freedom. It does not need online, it can be offline," stressed Solahudin.

Another reason for radical group recruitment without social media is Indonesian extremists do not believe in everything online as there are many cases of fraud happening online.

"They [radical groups of Indonesia] do not trust via online. There are many factors, for example in social media there are many accounts that facilitate migration to Syria with the help of making counterfeit documents. Money is paid, but the document never exists," explained Solahudin.