Indonesia plans reconciliation meeting between terror attackers, survivors
In a first-of-its-kind gathering, perpetrators of terror attacks in Indonesia and survivors of their heinous acts will meet face to face, security officials announced in early February 2018.
Described as a reconciliation meeting, accused terrorists will use the opportunity to apologize to their victims and to victims’ survivors.
“This meeting is quite unique,” said Wiranto, Indonesia’s top security minister, who goes by one name.
Indonesia has extended the opportunity to currently jailed criminals and ex-convicts, according to Agence France-Presse. Security officers have not named the militants participating, nor have they given details about the victims, a location for the meetings or how long they plan to converse. (Pictured: A man holds a placard during a peace gathering at the site of a militant attack in Jakarta, Indonesia.)
Local media, however, reported that at least 150 convicted militants would participate, according to Agence France-Presse.
Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and remains vulnerable to terror threats. The country, however, maintains a strong stance to stay vigilant as it works to apprehend the enemy and deploy deterrence methods.
The recent militant defeat in neighboring Philippines and the threat of foreign fighters returning to Indonesia as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria loses ground in the region prompted the Indonesian military and police to increase security cooperation.
In January 2018, Indonesia and the Philippines established a hotline for their militaries to alert each other to security and terrorist threats. Country officials said they would intensify coordinated patrols along their shared borders, according to news reports.
Defense ministers for Indonesia and Australia signed the Australia-Indonesia Defense Cooperation Agreement in February 2018 while attending a counterterrorism conference in Perth, Australia, according to Australia’s DefenceConnect.com.
“Reaffirming and strengthening our defense cooperation will enable us to continue to address our shared strategic interests and counter mutual security threats, including maritime security and terrorism,” Australia Minister of Defence Marise Payne said, according to DefenceConnect.com. “As we have seen in recent operations against Daesh in the Philippines, defense forces play a vital role in working with law enforcement agencies to disrupt terrorist groups from operating freely in our region.”
Indonesia has even reached out to Pakistan, agreeing in late January 2018 to work together more on counterterror initiatives.