Daniel Freedman: What (Reformed) Terrorists Told Me
December 15, 2010

By Daniel Freedman


President Obama didn’t stop by Detachment 88 Headquarters during his recent visit to Indonesia, but if he had he would have gained valuable insights into strategies to defeat terrorists before they reach the battlefield.

Detachment 88 is Indonesian police’s counter-terrorism unit, and they’ve had both notable successes and failures in their efforts against the al Qaeda affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group – all of which provide important counter-terrorism lessons for everyone else. I spent time in the unit’s offices during a trip to South-East Asia with a team from the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS) tasked with analyzing terrorism risk reduction strategies.

Indonesia was the final leg of our tour across the world during which we met with law enforcement officials, intelligence agencies, and community groups involved in running disengagement programs, as well as former terrorists – to learn what worked on them. Our findings were unveiled at Interpol’s November General Assembly and the report was endorsed by the Interpol leadership.

On our travels we met with former terrorists from groups ranging from the IRA in Northern Ireland to JI in Indonesia. While their causes were different, one common theme in their advice was…


To read the full article please click on the link below:http://blogs.forbes.com/danielfreedman/2010/12/15/what-reformed-terrorists-told-me/