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Indonesia’s Digitally Empowered Strategies for National Security

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The ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crime, which was established in 1997, recognises the importance of combating transnational crime, including terrorism, and calls for the formation of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC). The use of the internet for propaganda and the spread of terrorist ideology is a growing concern, and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime recognises the need to address this issue.

Transnational crimes, notably terrorism, pose a grave concern in Indonesia, where terrorism is viewed as an offence against the state, inflicting widespread harm on individuals and detrimentally affecting the nation’s economy.

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Abdullah Azwar Anas, who served as the Minister of State Apparatus Utilisation and Bureaucratic Reform in Indonesia, explained that digitalisation plays a crucial role in countering terrorism. With the adoption of digital technology, the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) is predicted to be more effective in combating radicalism and terrorism in Indonesia.

Further, digitalisation is also seen as making it easier for BNPT to identify, analyse, and follow up on terrorist activities and networks. Therefore, digitalisation is not just a tool to improve the efficiency of public services but also a means to strengthen national security through counter-terrorism efforts.

The Minister PANRB, Abdullah Azwar Anas, encouraged BNPT to contribute to the success of government digitalisation efforts, including by interoperating various applications within BNPT. He also urged BNPT to maximise the use of its digital platform to make counter-terrorism efforts more effective and efficient.

“The digitalisation programme at BNPT is important to ensure that the organisation’s performance in the future will be much greater than it is now. BNPT can also push its digital system to achieve targets to the maximum,” he asserted.

In terms of BNPT’s institutional framework, Minister Anas elaborated on strategic steps that would be undertaken to enhance the integrated handling of terrorism offences. These steps encompass a comprehensive approach aimed at reinforcing BNPT’s pivotal role as a centre for analysing crisis control in countering terrorism. Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on leveraging digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and big data, to augment BNPT’s capabilities in combating terrorism effectively.

The Ministry of PANRB also recommended several strategic steps that BNPT can take. One of them is through optimising digital transformation in carrying out BNPT’s role as a centre for analysing crisis control in countering terrorism. Thus, it is envisioned that counter-terrorism efforts can be carried out more effectively and efficiently.

“I envision that BNPT can carry out its duties and functions seriously, focus on effectiveness and efficiency, and provide benefits to the community and the government,” Anas said.

Looking ahead, BNPT Chief Commissioner Pol Mohammed Rycko Amelza Daniel said that the counter-terrorism strategy would focus on preventing, preparing, protecting, eradicating, and partnering in counter-terrorism efforts with BNPT. In terms of utilising digitalisation, BNPT has the Indonesia Knowledge Hub on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism (I-Khub on CT/VE) digital platform, which was created as a connector for planning and implementing programmes and knowledge products between Ministries/Agencies, Local Governments, Donor Agencies, Multilateral Agencies, NGOs, and the private sector.

I-KHub, as a knowledge product based on evidence-based information, can be a reference for policy-making to prevent and combat violence-based extremism that leads to terrorism in accordance with the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. In early February, Rycko and his team launched the Digital NKRI Warung in Kahuman Village, Polanharjo District, Klaten.

Digital NKRI Warung is a traditional store development programme that sells the daily necessities of the people and potential local products combined with information technology devices. Thus, not only does it serve as a means to improve the economy of the community, but it also serves as a means of education and increasing national insight.

“I am optimistic that in the future, the use of digital platforms within BNPT can continue to develop and be beneficial in preventing and combating violence-based extremism that leads to terrorism in Indonesia,” he concluded.


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