Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

From Villain to Hero: The Role of Disengaged Terrorists in Social Reintegration Initiatives

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Abstract:  Convicted terrorists released from prison often experience social stigma, exclusion, and difficulties reintegrating into society. Authorities have identified the utility of using formerly convicted and released terrorists or disengaged terrorists as an intermediary to help and support terrorist inmates as they go through social reintegration processes. This article explores their role as an intermediary who advocates for fair treatment and rights for their fellow ex-inmates, assisting families and helping them undergo the reintegration process. This research involved interviews with members of three foundations: Yayasan Persadani, Hubbul Wathon Indonesia 19, and DeBintal. By analysing the narrative of the participants, this study found that social reintegration efforts led by disengaged terrorists fostered a sense of social belonging and connectedness among ex-inmates. In addition, these foundations offer valuable assistance to terrorist inmates while ensuring community safety. They serve as a reliable support system during times of need and act as a communication bridge between them and the government. This framework positions these foundations as integral components in addressing concerns about the effectiveness of government-led integration initiatives. The approach adopted by these foundations has positive effects on preventing the re-engagement of released inmates with extremist networks. Despite the need to measure the effectiveness of these initiatives comprehensively, efforts made by these foundations provide potential for societal resilience against terrorism.

Keywords:  advocacy; disengaged terrorists; former terrorist inmates; Indonesia; social reintegration; terrorism



© Haula Noor. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.