Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Terrorist turned filmmaker wants to draw youths away from extremist groups
An ex-terrorist turned filmmaker is telling the true story of a cocoa farmer who was forced to become a courier for an Islamic militant group in Indonesia’s Sulawesi region so he could keep working his fields without fear of attack.
The 20-minute, self-funded film features amateur actors and is set for a limited, local release next month. It’s part of a series of films by former Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) member Arifudin Lako that aim to counter the spread of radicalism in Poso, a regency in Central Sulawesi province, where a bloody sectarian conflict once took place.
“This film is based on a true story that has never been told before in Poso,” Arifudin, 43, told BenarNews.
“Through this film, I’d like to warn the people of Poso and Indonesians in general not to be easily lured by groups that can lead them to radicalism, especially in the name of religion,” said the terrorism convict.
Indonesian authorities blamed JI, the al-Qaeda-linked militant group to which he belonged, for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people – Indonesian’s deadliest terror attack to date.
Lukman S. Thahir, a terrorism analyst in Palu, said the fact that former militants are engaging in positive activities is a testament to the success of their deradicalization.“Their positive movement must be supported,” Lukman told BenarNews.
“The campaign against radicalism through the film is a real step that addresses religious, social and cultural aspects,” he said.