Research Article

Requisites of Deradicalisation: Study on the De-Ideologisation of Indonesian Ex-Terrorists



Studies on terrorism in Indonesia heavily emphasize a security-first approach, which has had profound implications for counter-terrorism strategies, policies, and terrorist imprisonment. This approach, however, fails to properly grasp the internal “deep experience” of terrorists. There are currently 289 terrorist convicts serving their prison sentences in 113 Correctional Institutions throughout Indonesia. Until 2017, over 60 convicted terrorists have been documented for recidivist behaviour and repeating their crimes. This phenomenon raises the question of the possibility of de-ideologization of terrorists in incarceration and if Indonesia’s criminal justice system is truly effective in deradicalizing terrorists. Our study explores this question by interviewing three different groups: ex-terrorists who have served their prison sentence, terrorists who were still incarcerated in prison, and former sympathizers of ISIS who had been deported back from Syria to Indonesia. We explored the social elements and actors that constituted their radical view, their experiences in prison, and the factors that had led them to abandon terrorist activities or disavow their support for ISIS. We conclude that social-legal policies aiming to effectively reduce the ideological reproduction of terrorism cannot be carried out using a heavy-handed security approach, but sociological insights are required to grasp the allure and kernel of truth behind terrorist acts.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

6 (5)





How to Cite

Robet, R., Jahja, R. S., Fitri, M. R., & Hamid, A. R. (2024). Requisites of Deradicalisation: Study on the De-Ideologisation of Indonesian Ex-Terrorists. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 6(5), 53–64.



de-ideologisation, deradicalisation, Adaptation, conformity, rebellion