Suicide Bomber in Bandung Reportedly Denied to Join Deradicalization Program

8 December 2022 20:27 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaFormer convicted terrorist Kurnia Widodo said the suicide bomber at Bandung’s Astanaanyar Police station, Agus Sujatno alias Abu Muslim, did not want to take part in deradicalization programs while serving his time in prison. Kurnia claimed he received the information from a colleague who had been in the same prison cell as the bomber.

“Because he (the bomber) still had radical understandings. He was also [categorized as] a high-risk person in prison, so he wasn't cooperative. He didn't want to make a pledge [of loyalty to the country], so he's held in a high-risk type of prison cell,” said Kurnia via text message on Thursday, December 8, 2022.

Agus served jail time for four years at Class II A Pasir Putih Nusambangan Prison, Central Java, due to the Cicendo bombing case. He was released in March 2021.

Kurnia also said Agus refused the visit of state officials or government agencies while in prison. The Class II A Pasir Putih Nusambangan Prison has not yet responded to Tempo’s request for confirmation regarding Agus’ behavior at the prison.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2022, Agus committed a suicide bombing at the Astana Anyar Police Station during a morning assembly. At least 11 people became victims and one of them died.

According to Kurnia, Agus was good at creating bombs. “Because in the past when he was caught in the Cicendo bombing case, he took a role as a bomb maker, including mixed materials. There may also be leftover materials that only Agus and Yayat Cahdiyat know about,” he opined.

Kurnia mentioned Yayat Cahdiyat and Soleh were in the same group responsible for the Cicendo bombing case. However, Kurnia claimed he did not know about the terrorist network affiliated with Agus.

Deradicalization Program Needs Role of Ex-Convicts

On this basis, Kurnia asked the government to invite former terrorist convicts to take part in the deradicalization program.

“Recently, state institutions do not invite ex-terror convicts who have been released to deradicalize the understanding of others who have just been released, like me. While in fact, we have more understandings about narratives to counter radical understanding because we have experienced it,” Kurnia said.

HAMDAN CHOLIFUDIN ISMAIL

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