About 39 percent of Indonesian university students have been exposed to radical Islamic ideology, Suhardi Alius, the head of Indonesia’s National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), told BenarNews.
The counter-terror chief confirmed a figure given April 28 by Budi Gunawan, the head of Indonesia’s National Intelligence Agency (BIN), during a lecture to a college seminar in Semarang, Central Java.
“That’s an estimate, we’re talking about a survey. That’s what it indicated,” Suhardi said in Padang, West Sumatra, on Wednesday. “The important thing … is that we recognize and prevent it.”
“Not just students, but their teachers also must be monitored,” he said. “These days I’m always visiting campuses.”
Wawan Purwanto, a BIN spokesman, said the figure came from BIN internal research conducted at state and private universities in 15 provinces in 2017.
“Three universities attracted BIN’s notice because of the high levels of dissemination of and support for radicalism and extremism,” Wawan said.
He declined to name the universities but said their rectors had been notified so they could address the situation.
“Ignorning it could have a negative impact, as when a person who is a sympathizer later becomes a supporter of terrorist acts,” he told BenarNews.
On tens of thousands of questionnaires distributed at universities, he said, many respondents indicated they would support making Indonesia an Islamic state, and expressed support for the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, he said.
“They were asked to mark ‘agree,’ ‘don’t agree’ and ‘don’t know.’ The graphic showed that 24 percent of college students and 23.3 percent of high school students agree with the concept of violent jihad,” Wawan said.
Full story: BenarNews
M. Sulthan Azzam and Tria Dianti
Jakarta and Padang, Indonesia
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