10 October 2015
“We are the pioneers of jihad in Indonesia — not ISIS (Islamic State). I and my veteran colleagues … are the Jemaah Islamiah group that initiated terrorist attacks on behalf of Islam. ISIS is the new kid on the block. Let’s calculate who has been more involved in jihad. ISIS is a kindergarten in my eyes.” On the eve of Monday’s 13th anniversary of the Bali bombings, jailed bomber Ali Imron seems eager to ensure his imprint on radical history doesn’t fade. There is no chance it will.
Despite his unnerving rants, Imron is sharp as a tack, if frequently contrary. Twelve years behind bars have not dulled memories of a childhood steeped in extremism and a jihadist trajectory that ended in his ultimate act of terror: the 2002 Bali bombings. They are crystal clear. But his eyes — dark, unfathomable pools — lead to a seemingly disturbing void. I search in vain for something that points to a conscience.
… Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, says the use of former terrorists for deradicalisation and immunising vulnerable segments of the population is an effective tool — but one Western countries eschew because of their mistrust of former terrorists.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2015