Understanding Islamist Radical Terrorism
(Wibawanto Nugroho, September 21, 2017)
Transcript available below
About the speaker
Indonesia contains the world’s largest Muslim population. Yet insufficient attention has been paid to how it sees the threat of radical Islam, a subject that Wibawanto Nugroho has studied deeply.
He has served in the Indonesian government in several capacities. Presently, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, with a dissertation on the subject of Understanding Islamist Radical Terrorism. He is supervised by Dr. Omar Ashour and Dr. Jonathan Githens-Mazer of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. His research included directly interviewing some 40 terrorists, as well as relevant policy makers.
He has worked as the Expert Staff, Strategist and Senior Policy Analyst with the Indonesian Army; Ministry of Defense; the Chairman of the Defense, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Information Committee of Indonesian Parliament; and the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs. From 2013 – 2014 he also worked as a Senior Adviser for Sanitas International, a global political consulting firm. While working on his PhD (2014 – 2017) with the University of Exeter, he was also designated as an alumni fellow/SME with NDU.
He holds degrees from the University of Bradford, the U.S. National Defense University (NDU), and the George Mason University School of Public and Government. He has just been invited to give a speech at Capstone Course of the Indonesian National Resilience Agency (Lemhanas RI), on the topic of national ideology, strategy, and development, this November. His thesis at National Defense University, titled “Indonesian Armed Forces’ Roles, Strategies and Capabilities in Countering Terrorism within a Changing National Security: Looking Ahead 2007 – 2017” earned an Honors award from the university.
He was also a principal speaker representing the Republic of Indonesia at the 2008 U.S. Army TRADOC-hosted global symposium on the Future Joint Operating Environment toward 2025. In 2011 he also appeared as a principal speaker along with the head of Indonesian BNPT (National Counter Terrorism Agency) in the BNPT-hosted international symposium on deradicalization in Makassar, Indonesia. Wibawanto Nugroho is a Fulbright scholar and the recipient of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
For more on Indonesia, see James Clad’s Westminster talk, The Islamic State Attacks Indonesia – And its ‘Middle Way’, Lieutenant General Agus Widjojo’s Westminster talk, How to Support Democracy: The Case of Indonesia, and Jeff Moore’s Westminster talk, the Evolution in Islamic Insurgency in Asia.
Robert R. Reilly:
The reason that our speaker, Wibawanto Nugroho, was at National Defense University ten years ago is because the Indonesian Ministry of Defense nominated him to come to the United States for a year to earn that degree. He was already quite experienced when he arrived and now he’s had ten more years of experience and has added an amazing number of other degrees. You may have more Masters Degrees than anyone I know. He served in the Indonesian government in several capacities.
He is just weeks shy of defending his PhD dissertation at the University of Exeter in England on the subject of “Understanding Islamic Radical Terrorism” and as you may have seen in the introduction as part of the research he did for that dissertation he interviewed more than some 40 terrorists as well as relevant policymakers. Sometimes it’s probably hard to tell the difference. But I won’t go into that. Wibawanto has worked with the Indonesian Army, the Ministry of Defense, the Chairman of the Defense Foreign Affairs Intelligence and Information Committee of the Indonesian Parliament, and a number of other entities. I’m not going to name all of the institutions from which he has gained degrees. I will however tell you that his thesis at National Defense University won an honors award from the university and its topic is not entirely related to the one he’s giving tonight about understanding Islamist terrorism. It was Indonesian Armed Forces’ role, strategies, and capabilities in countering terrorism within a changing national security, looking ahead 2007 to… today, 2017. So please join me in welcoming Wibawanto Nugroho.
Thank you for everything by the grace of God. Thank you professor Bob Reilly, professor Thomas Blau for giving me [an] A [grade], both of them giving me [an] A [grade] and also everybody here, my wife and also my very close Indonesian folks, Robert, and then pastor Tony, Deacon Harry, Deacon Dowlat and wife, and also Lattie Bailey, my friend, and thank you also Jeff Moore, PhD. Jeff received his PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies [in] the University of Exeter, the same university, the same institute like mine.
So today… I mean like I came from Indonesia last Monday and then we went straight for attending the very tightly scheduled NDU global security symposiums for the alumni [unintelligible] Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And this morning it was my turn to give some talk about this topic. So and then… I have been awake the whole day [unintelligible] jet lag. I’m excited. I [couldn’t] wait to meet you here tonight. This is this time. So basically the presentations for tonight is I would like to focus on the pattern, the patterns of Islamist terrorisms in the case of the Republic of Indonesia. Let’s make it that focused. And I’m in the position not as a policymaker, not as a politician, but here as a scholar. So neutral, objective, must be scientific, according to Dr. Blau always states that that way when we are at NDU.
The thesis of my dissertations is “What is the underlying factors?” What is the underlying factors that [are] continuing to inspire jihadist terrorisms [unintelligible] in the case of Republic of Indonesia? So my thesis of what is Islamist terrorisms… so terrorisms is tactic. There are like 109 definitions of terrorisms in the policy and the scholar world. And there are 22 significant elements in the terrorisms but the bottom line is terrorism is a violent tactic being used to send messages to the audience by attacking at the minimum civilians as effected. So in order to achieve certain political goals or other strategy goals, including maybe religious goals. My point is terrorism can be performed by any actors. Yeah, terrorism can be done by the state actor or terrorism from the both and governments suppress their citizens or state-sponsored terrorisms, terrorism perpetrated by the states to other states or non-state terrorisms.
For the Islamist terrorism in Indonesia I define it as a non-state terrorisms, terrorisms performed by citizens. It is civilian. For the certain Islamist purpose I differentiate Islamic and Islamism. Islamic is a faith, is a religion. I’m not going to talk about Islamic. I’m talking about the Islamism. It is the set of often conflicting political ideology that is based on the Islamic faith, according to anyone’s interpretations it can be different. But since some of the Islamist political ideology they are still peaceful, progressive, gradual and some of them [are] violent, doesn’t want to take a gradual ways, wants to make extreme change by extreme interpretations of the selective Islamic texts from the- from the scripts. That’s my definitions.
So the specific definition Islamist terrorism in Indonesia is the Salafist because they want to establish the Sharia law and establish the Salafi Islamist state. Indonesia has been struggling with this kind of extreme political Islam since 1945, since our independence. It’s been seven decades already. Even though Indonesia is the world’s most populous country we are not the Islamic state. We are the [unintelligible] nations. We trust in government. We trust that the universe is created by our limited government but we are not based in any single religions. So it’s- it’s what- it’s what we call pancasila. I was invited to give some talk at the Indonesian National Resilience Agency to speak for the Captain’s course for the military and police, the senior general officers last August about national ideology, the importance of national ideology and to treat national ideology as the center of gravity, including in dealing with the violent radicalisms.
So I tried to develop the model that is based on what I was studying at NDU with Dr. Blau and Professor Reilly. There is no such thing that is, you know, someone becoming [a] terrorist in one night. Right? So everything must go through the gradual process. So there are several variables that is tested in my thesis. The first one is the grievances, causes of economic, social, and political grievances. And then the intervening variable is the social network. And then the- the fifth variable is the radical ideology. And the sixth variable is the state reparations or carrot. And then the last one is government incentives, the way government give a special attentions. But the seven variables at the state with the qualitative and quantitative methods. Not only with qualitative but I used the multivariable statistical analysis in order to measure ‘scientifically’, in quotes, how big the- the correlations and the cause-effect of independent variables to dependent variables for only dependent variables.
So- So basically the method that I use is by referring to 77 respondents. Of 77 I referred 40 to, I say radicals. I interviewed them and then I test the result of- with the quantitative methods. And other than the 40 I interviewed 50 others, policymakers, including- including foreign diplomats being stationed in Indonesia. And Indonesian intelligence officers, highly full ranking, military, police, I interviewed them. And then the other 22 I studied from their background, the informations about the other 22. So that’s on the 77 respondents I can say that there are four lines of political Islam in Indonesia, okay? The last- The fourth- The last- The last string, the most dangerous one, is the Salafi jihadisms. Violent, Salafi, jihadisms. They want to establish Islamic Sharia law. They want to establish Salafi state. They don’t want to take gradual way. They want to take a extreme way. They want to take a violent way. They don’t want to embrace democracy. They are against national ideology. They are against everything. Right? So that’s [a] minority but [it’s] still disturbing. Right?
Actually, that ideology is inspired by Salafisms, jihadism, and then to some level takfirism. He always talks about takfirism ten years ago. So [there are] three- three of them. So this is the transnational Islamist movement that [is] influencing Indonesia… transnational, okay the fourth thing. The third layer is mainly related to Hizb ut-Tahrir. Hizb-ut Tahrir. So basically they don’t want to take the violent methods in order to achieve their goals. They usually use the hate speech. But they also neither want to be involved in democracy. So they’re not doing anything basically. They just aspire to establish the Khilafah but they’re not taking the violent way. They’re not being- they’re not involved in the democracy process. So Hizb ut-Tahrir as we know is also [a] transnational, Islamist movement. Right? And the second line of political Islam in Indonesia is- is based on the Ikhwanism or I can say best Muslim Brotherhood- inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the, you know, they used to take a- They used- I mean like if you study about the Muslim Brotherhood, they used to take a violent stance in order to achieve their goals but they repent and they want to take a democracy as the way to achieve their goals and then I cannot mention the name of the party in Indonesia that is inspired by Ikhwanism or Muslim Brotherhood but maybe we can do some search just by yourself. But the parties you know is quite strong but at least they- they’re not taking the violent stance. They want to embrace democracy and sometimes at the local elections they want to work together with the Christian party, like election at the local level in Papua so for- just for the pragmatical purpose.
The question is- is still a national- I think some- Many Indonesians that [unintelligible] with this issue, they’re still suspicious with their intentions. I think even though they want to take a gradual, peaceful, democratic way to achieve their goals, we think their heart maybe, once they’re into power they will Islamize the nations. Right? But the- There’s always intentions but at least they- they aspire it in the- in the peaceful and democratic way. It’s something that is fair enough. And then the first layer of Indonesian Islamist politic is Nusantara Uswat. We call it Indonesian versions of Islam. So basically they are a pancasila-based. They are majority. They are not aiming to establish Islamic Sharia law. They are not aiming to establish the Salafi Islamic state. They stick to pancasila. This is majority in Indonesia. So this is our bulwark, bulwark, bulwark, the layer to deal with the second, third, [and] fourth, at least the first and second.
So this is a- But the- I’m- I’m focusing on the fourth line, the fourth- the fourth- the fourth frame of Indonesians’ political Islam. They keep transforming even though the old guys died or get captured but the new ones keep coming up. So because of the resource mobilization is still there. As long as the ideology is still there, the charismatic leader is still there, political opportunity is still there or strategical calculus intentions to establish Sharia law, Islamic Salafi Islamic state is still there and the terrorist pattern overseas, right? The finding and everything. So the- they will be existing all the time. So my point is to saying that even though for the last fifteen years according to open sources informations that also confirm my national police chieftain Tito Karnavian, there has been 5,000 Indonesians being captured for the radicalism related issues since 2002 until 2017, 5,000. But there’s only 1,000s being brought to the court because for the other 4,000s maybe the government doesn’t have enough proof to convict them. Right, so this is- this is the background, the background, the background. But we have to remember that Indonesia is a [unintelligible] base but secular [unintelligible].
So the solutions keep going on. The [unintelligible] of Jemaah Islamiyah was dismantled in September 2003 but not the non-structural guy exists because the [unintelligible] these guys. But now what is concerning is the ISIS-related cells. This is- This is become like my [unintelligible] actually. If we see from the- We can- we can extract from the open source informations how Indonesia is still somehow within the like doable map of ISIS risk- risk of influence. Since 2014 there is no less than 700 at least Indonesian foreign fighters you know went to Syria and Iraq for fighting with ISIS. And [the] Indonesian government has been trying their best President Yudhoyono now President Jokowi to deal with this soon, including by securing back Indonesians that are already in Syria in the battlefield.
These are the challenge. We cannot deny. This is the challenge. We cannot deny. So how the grievances, the radical ideology, the social network, and everything is not only exists in the domestic level but connecting at the global level. And then based on my research, statistically, using various models in multivariate techniques, basically economic grievances, social grievances, and political grievances – at least statistically – are not proven as the significant factors. What is proven as significant factors is social network and radical ideology with the significant level of 19 and 95 and 99 percents. This is depending upon which models you use. These independent variables enter… Right? So my thesis is economic, social, and political grievances is only necessary factors. When President Suharto was in power, the economic inequality was also high but the- but it- it doesn’t make terrorism created in Indonesian. Right? Because the issue is in social network and radical ideology.
So how the social network influenced Indonesians and then the- how they are exposed to the radical ideology, Salafi ideology. So based on my research, my interview with these 44, they’re- They don’t want to be associated with these first and second line of Islamist pol- political Islam in Indonesia; [unintelligible], Muhammadiyah, liberal Islam, and also this second line, political party [unintelligible]. They don’t want to be associated with this too. So they have their own versions. And they are- They are exposed through family, at the family level. From schools they have plenty of experience in the- experience in- They will involve in- They know it’s under [unintelligible]. But my point is it’s very concerning because… not only that the kids that based on the reasons… the ideology is coming through the dawa, dawa engagement in the campus in the college, university schools and the first Nahdatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, and also Parda Medina, the first line and second line of the political Islam. They also do the same thing. They also engage Indonesians through the [unintelligible] the dawa. [unintelligible] and everything but the ideology of Salafism, Takfirism… they do the same thing. It’s like they’re racing. Even they come to the office for the [unintelligible] to spread the ideology. That’s the issue.
Once they’re embraced with that ideology, my ideology- my- my funding is they feel anything related to Western is evil, not good. So its [unintelligible] and then has to be dismantled, including pancasila that in their mind is a Western-influenced ideology. So we have to fight for the [unintelligible]. And after that, the most significant variables were- with a 99% significant levels – this is very interesting – is their aspirations to be involved in the global jihad.
So for anything there is a global struggle, jihad struggle. That is the most significant factor. So get inspired with that was to start with that then they will be more later mind to become the violent, Salafi jihadis. Maybe they’re not- personally, they’re in the person of non-violent, non-violent Salafist. But after they [are] inspired by the global jihad, quickly, right away, become the violent. This [is] my finding, statistically, right? That’s just the pattern, just a pattern.
So- and then the sixth and the seven- the six and the seven variable, which is the state reparations and government incentives. My findings say that if- even though they are repressed by the government, it doesn’t make a- it doesn’t make them becoming violent jihadists. It doesn’t make them becoming terrorists. Put it that way. Put it that words. Like maybe in President Suharto’s era he was [unintelligible] dealing with the people. There is no critical- there is no free expressions – yeah – in the past. But it doesn’t make Indonesian want to become terrorist. Right? But my findings said when the people already embrace- expose through the Salafi ideology they are inspired with that. When we become stronger to suppress them the more that will [unintelligible]. That’s my finding.
And then- This is concerning- And if we see the social network, how they are connected [unintelligible] indicates not only in the physical realm but also they engage in the cyber. Right? So they use the cyber for the intelligence gathering and for the influence operations. They spread the news, they radicalized the mind through exploiting the political divisions, exploiting the weakness of the government, and they are engaging in multilines of engagement in the cyber level. So they’re also engaged in some level of crime but it’s not really significant but they’re equipped with the a couple of [unintelligible], who are excel with computer, using some computer scientists to hack some credit card, you know, it’s not that significant but their most significant is for their intelligence gathering and the influence operations. Is what this… [unintelligible] recruiting people going to Syria.
So I also for the qualitative side I also tried to find key words in the minds of the jihadis, of these 40 jihadis. The first one is Islamic law. The second one is Salafist Islamic state of Indonesia. The third one is Khilafah Islamiyah, the third one. That’s why violent jihad, dawa, takfir, tawhid, the enemy of Islam, and they’re always against national ideology and then national constitutions but they see the other world as their enemy. Basically, this is the case.
And then… this is the pattern that and then how about the deradicalization itself? So I interviewed these 40 and then to know the effect of the deradicalization effort, I’m not going to make a conclusion only qualitatively but I want to test statistically in order to see the proportion either significantly different or not. So basically my finding is most of them, I can say the 95%, 99%, they said that they abandoned the violent ways. Okay, but they still aspire for Islamic law and Salafi Islamist state. They’re not embracing democracy and pluralisms and then they still against the four pillars of the state; pancasila, national constitution, pluralisms, unity in diversity. But my point is- So this is a very concerning. Why? Because they are just basically hibernate. Once the opportunity is open, they are very sensitive to be exploited. Through the engage violent ways. So- And then- 40% of them saying that, “Okay, the government is not that bad. We are treated well in the prisons. They give us- The government give us special attention. That’s it. Okay.” So- But- This is ideology. It’s not easy to change someone’s ideology, right? So this is the case. And then maybe the- the democratic way is to pushing them a little bit to the second line of political Islam, which is by involved in the democracy by joining the Islamist parties. But it’s unlikely is my finding based on my respondents. It’s unlikely.
So that’s why our challenge is to- how to balance the extremisms with the modernism- moderations. Moderations here- There are two levels of moderations in my research. In the ideological level and also in the behavior of- behavioral level. So at least in the ideology the- We expect that they abandon the violent ideology and then they want to accept the national ideology.
But at the behavioral level at least we help them to start embracing the whatever rules of the game in Indonesia. If they want to change the country, they want to change the system, not doing- nothing gets in the- collapse system, collapse strategy but just go through democracy and then living in the pluralisms and then becoming good citizens to build the nations, right?
So that’s why we- we engage in the several layer of engagement. Not only in- not only in deradicalization itself, or this engagement, this engage integrals from the network, but also preventive and also the enforcement of the Indonesian strategical structure, which is pancasila. That’s why when I was invited to talk- I had the capstone course of our national war college systems in front of the general officers from the national military and police. I made it very clear: our center of gravity is pancasila. If we want to rise as the winning nation, we have to stick to pancasila. If we abandon pancasila, just- just waiting for some next couple of years, Indonesia will explode. Basically, this is what I said. Just to make it clear.
So… and then… So what is the- what is the policy implication of that? Again, I’m not politicians in this position. I’m not the partisans. I’m the scholar in this position. So Indonesia is still a potential – if we’re not, be careful – to produce violent Salafi jihadis and to becoming the global fill of religious terrorism. Why I say the religious terrorism? It’s not- Religious means the terrorism that is based on religious based arguments according their own interpretations. Put it that words. So- so- because- We- we- have to be clear about the definition because definition matters.
So my thesis is we need to update it. The strategy is never end point. The strategy is always beginning, the starting point. That’s why we have to be more creative, innovative in updating our national security strategy. And being integrated with Indonesian grand strategy. So and we have- we have counterterrorism law issued in 2003. We still using it until today… to 2003. They treated- treating violent Islamist extremists as a criminal because they are [unintelligible] by the citizens. That’s why the policy, national policy, is placed as the front liner backed up by national intelligence and national military. That is the issue I’m going to raise, Dr. Blau.
So- so what is the key policy focus for the future? [unintelligible] combinations [unintelligible]. Now Indonesia in the current year- for the last two years they are quite busy to… There’s a plan to pass the newly- the new counterterrorism bill to supersede the old one [from] 2003. But there is a tension between the Indonesian military and then police about how to treat terrorism so I’m going to talk a little bit about that. But my point is we can- we can differentiate the two. The first one is a how to address the political, economic, and social grievances. That’s the general development policy I think. Right? So how to- narrowing the gap between the rich and poor, gini coefficient, blah, blah, blah. Right? So to make a more economic [equality] being realized.
I also said – even in front of my senior- senior Indonesians from any political camps – political disagreement is common anywhere, including in democracy but we have to be aware. There are five levels of gradations, five levels of managing political disagreement. The first one is totally peace, which is in the heaven, not now. Okay, at least the second line. The second line is we have a disagreement but we [have] got to manage it in the peaceful way, right, in democratic way. The political oppositions- they can engage by having oppositions from ads from the newspaper, or criticize the government, blah, blah, blah. And then the government can engage back by, you know, give their argument, support by think tanks, give the healthy life of democratic life.
But the third layer is the political [unintelligible] is when the governments start suppress[ing] the political opposition, their opposition’s parties. Like you know criminalize whatever- you know, anyone that criticize toward the government. It’s dangerous because why? Because it will infight the respond by the non-state actors. The only response is I’m going to talk a little bit about the case of Jakarta Governor Ahok, also we know [unintelligible]. My point is… my point- We have to be careful with that because government is in the central position to decide the future trajectory of Islamist movement in Indonesia. This is my thesis.
It depends on the political leadership, right? If the government keep pressing, keep suppressing their political- their opposition, it will degrade to political violence. The people will- will fight through a non-democratic way, outside the systems and gets in terrorisms and then government will do counter-terrorisms. And then the non-state actors will engage in insurgency. And the government will engage back in counterinsurgency. And after that, the last states, which is civil war. So everything backs to the government is up to them. This is the challenge of democracy in that. We have to be wise in seeing that.
So I got so many questions about what is my opinion about the- the event. I think most of you heard about Jakarta Governor, the case of Jakarta Governor. The Christians, Chinese ethnics, the first time. They were like a lot, many, like ten million Indonesians went to the streets, doing demonstrations in November 2016, 2017, early 2017, demand[ing] President Jokowi for Ahok to be convicted for the blasphemy- for the blasphemy. And Ahok said I am treated unfairly. That’s why I react that way, this according to him.
My argument is ‘why you are treated unfairly?’ If Indonesia is not having pancasila or unity in diversity or a pluralistic country, you are not going to become the governor in Jakarta. You can become governor in Jakarta because Indonesia is pancasila nations. Is a pluralistic nations. Is a- we trust in the university. But if we- if you got the problem with the- with the- with the Muslim people, you have to do some self-introspection. What’s wrong with you?
So Ahok even though he has a- He’s not angel, but he’s not Satan. I mean he’s just a human with the strong- with his strength and weakness. So basically he was like a- He was emotionally triggered to respond to the fourth and to [the] third line of political Islam in Indonesia. There was very- He was very emotional, like, ‘Oh, Christian, Chinese, you cannot live [in] Indonesia. You cannot live in Jakarta’. And then he’s emotional. And plenty of people are already reminding him: be careful. You are being dragged to that battlefield. Why [do] you have to respond to them? You are supported by the first line of- of political Islam. The second line- and that- He’s emotional. And a slip of the tongue, he said something, it can be exploited by his political opposition. So that’s the case.
And then for the blasphemy- for the blasphemy law, there has been so many victims of it and then most of them are Muslim in Indonesia, saying something wrong about other religions and then they are convicted with the blasphemy law. So my point is- And then they are put in the jail like for more than two years, three, four, five years. Ahok was there only two years, Ahok only two years, so it’s fine with him. It’s fine. So in the mind of a Islam, Islam is a movement by the [unintelligible]. Government was trying to protect him. That’s the issue. That’s why the political pressure happened. When the government tried to manipulate the law and political means in order to keep the- preserve their political goals, basically. That’s the definitions. And then the non-state actors react by ‘okay, we go to the street, we boycott, we do demonstrations’ until stalemate, the state of stalemate. This- this way both sides have to be self-introspective. And we’ve got to be careful with that.
And then for the second part of the policy focus is we have to be specific in dealing with the social network. They are engaged in cyber and also in a physical realm. So we have to infiltrate the networks and to do the counter operations. And then a social network is not only in a domestic case. It’s a globally connected. It’s a globally connected. And the- the- the second one is ideology. Ideology of jihadism, Salafisms, Takfirisms. Okay, let’s say there is some country giving funding to Indonesia to ask them to establish the schools, Salafi schools. Maybe the school is nonviolent. Dr. Blau, like you said. Nonviolent but this is just one click away from becoming violent.
But I think the Indonesia governor must be [unintelligible] enough and then whoever wants to lead Indonesia, trust me, they have to know how to deal with Islam. Indonesia is the country, the nations, with the very deep social cleavages, right? I can see from the three- three angles based on ideology. There are a group of people [who] want to keep pancasila as the state ideology. And there are- At the other side of the populations want to have Islamic law as the national- national ideology. Islam is [unintelligible]. The second one is based on economy. There are certain people [who] want to use the Socialist-based economy to build Indonesians and the other is the Capitalism’s [unintelligible] and the third one is a- based on a system of government, federalism or unitary states. Based on the reasons from the Hebrew University, there- based on the 62 countries, democracy collapse or not collapse. 32 countries with the- surviving democracy and 30 countries with the collapsing democracy. The findings saying that the country, the nation and the state with the deep social cleavages are very sensitive to be- for the democracy to collapse if they have the unitary state system and presidential system. This what Indonesia is having. I’m not saying that we- we have to switch to become a federal system, no, I- I’m defending unitary state system of Indonesia.
But my point is we have to be careful. We have to know how to lead. That’s why I said to my- my- my- my- [unintelligible] officers, ‘You are not political leader. You have to be careful with your mouth. We have to- You have to be careful with your behavior.’ You are not just a consultant or you know a doer like a [unintelligible] manager. No, you are a political leader. It’s difference the way you lead nation. You have to lead societies. You cannot do- I mean you have to be sensitive. You have to be- to be sensitive in economic inequality, blah, blah, blah. So this is a challenge but we can- we can do that. We can do it. So- And then the last one is we have to be there I think with the any countries that is sponsoring the ideology of Islam that is against Indonesian values. If I’m in the position in defense strategy of Indonesia, I will stop from there, the original source. I will deal with them directly. Stop! Right. So- But if funding coming and they establish schools, school systems… just wait- just waiting for the time, just waiting in one to two years, three years.
And then- and then we- we- we’ve been going through a certain level- certain states of policy. In 2002 we denied we have a terrorisms. We have a terrorist. In 2006, we- we- we began to acknowledge that okay, we have some radicals and after that since 2010, 2017, Indonesian government start to become more suppressive and preventive. It’s the good- good things. Government has to change. And then- my point is- and then the whole of government approach has been implemented since 2010 until 2017. 2010 was a Indonesian government established a counterterrorism agency like a NCTC and they say has been here for the last ten years or so, right? Indonesian NCTC has a ten years but Indonesian NCTC has no operational arm. Basically, they are engaged in preventative- detection, prevention, direct action, and international engagement. We keep working on it. And then this is a really [unintelligible] lines of effort.
And then for the one test case is democracy, this is last part of my- my presentations. The basic argument of the Islamists… Salafi Islamists, especially violent Salafi Islamists, is democracy is no good, [unintelligible], not from Allah, must be replaced, right? So the responsibility of the government is to make sure that Indonesian democracy is in good. Indonesian democracy in that at least in a good shape. There are four indicators. The first one is free and fair elections. The second one is the security of the voters. The third one is the absence of foreign intervention. The fourth one is either the elected public officials can deliver their promise or not.
So in 2014, there was a- elections, elections: 51/49% percents, percentage won the elections, right? And the votes [were] contested in the constitutional court. And then the court said President Jokowi still won the election and then Prabowo, Prabowo received the same result. Okay, that’s fine. Okay. But my point is… my point is in 2014, 2016 the two years was used by President Jokowi to consolidate his power because by the time President Jokowi mayor-ed- governor-ed Jokowi as a Governor of Jakarta decided to run for the Presidents of Indonesia. He always said in the public even five days before he decided to run, “I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not thinking about that. I’m not ready.” See, like a Mayor of Washington say, “I’m not ready.”
So my point is this time, he decided to run and he won. That’s fine. But the consequences [unintelligible] better time. So he needs the first two years to consolidate his power. And then in 2016 Ahok, the Governor of Jakarta, made a slip of the tongue, and then the people, the majority of the Muslim people, go to the streets and then do demonstrations, right? And the government was distracted again. And then- Now it is already 2017. 2018 the presidential candidate have to register already to the elections committee. Who wants to run for the presidents? So 2019 is the election so you going to wait… for [the] next two years. Everybody now is getting busy again with politics in Indonesia. Who will becoming President in Indonesia in 2019?
So- so then my concern is I got a question this morning when I made a presentation at National Defense University. “So what is the chance of counter-radicalization in Indonesia?” I think in one side it’s good. I mean we have to be firm with the violent or non-violent ideology, Islamist ideology that’s- that’s against Indonesian’s values and rule of law. But at the same times government must be sensitive because they think that sometimes, according to, you know, my research here, governments tend to criminalize anyone that is critical toward them.
So this is the contra- counterproductive to what they’re doing because what- what- what is important is to- to act to make sure that rule of law is- we- take care of rule of law. They- they- they- they are constant with implementing rule of law. But on the other of- on the other side of the story is some people said government started criminalizing their political oppositions. After their political oppositions get some backdoor dealing, ready to support for 2019, they’re, you know, they’re no longer being criminalized. It’s what they’re thinking. I’m in a scholar position. I have to be neutral. I don’t want to be involved in you know the fighting between the two camps or three camps. I want to be light of the world so to say- to tell the truth, right? So this is what happened. It’s a counterproductive. So this is challenge of the nation.
But we have to make sure that my [unintelligible] in 2019 I- I kindly beg the international world to make sure that Indonesia’s election in 2019 is free and neutral. There is no foreign hands being involved in supporting any candidate because otherwise, trust me, it will implode. The grievances in the Islamic heart, Islamist… not only third, maybe in the second line, in the second line already- already very heat up, heating up. So we have to be careful and 2019 is very critical. We need the American support and also a global audience support to make sure the elections will be carried out in the fair and free and then so for the conductors of policy we look forward.
We try to be more creative and like what Dr. Blau has asked me and also then the question was asked to me this morning at NDU, “What is the most important factors in the effective counterterrorism policy in Indonesia in the near future?” Is- this is my argument. In 194- based on the national constitution in 1945 the main national security factors is national military and national policy. We don’t have a state police. We have a national police. It’s like FBI, a national police. In national military we don’t have a national guard. We have a national military. But- so- these two and then they used to be in the same organization, one umbrella, Indonesian Armed Forces. When President Suharto was in [uninteligible] 1998, they were separated. Since their separations the competition is still going on until today, especially in dealing with the domestic security.
Since terrorisms one of the examples. And that’s why my thesis Dr. Blau if Indonesian national military and Indonesian national police can- they’re getting on, in this particular case, it will be good. It will be fine. And politically [unintelligible] aggressive. They have to be the thing long term for dealing with the Islamist radicalism. They have to stop lying if they’re lying because they have to give example to their citizens because the center of the government is the good life of the citizens, right? So and then that’s why the current national security bill is focusing on how national police can have more, better, and solid synergy with the Indonesian national military. Hopefully, the bill- the bill will be passed sometimes this year or next year maybe. And I hope my thesis, 80,000 words of thesis, can inform the Indonesians policymakers and the new counterterrorism bill that will be passed hopefully next year before the election in 2019. Thank you so much. If you have any questions and answer I will be happy to discuss with you. Thank you.