“She spent seven years of savings to travel to Syria. You can imagine the propaganda of ISIS people, bringing Syria into her house. Bringing it into her mind.”

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Episode notes

Dete is a researcher and activist whose work revolves around in-depth, interview-based research with people detained for terrorism offences, and their families. This includes special focus on women as both partners and protagonists.

The results are used to inform dialogue with the Indonesian government and its international partners, along with targeted work to increase resilience to recruitment into vulnerable groups, and re-recruitment of former detainees.

Show notes:

[02:10]  Early work with women in jihadist circles. Contacts with detainees in Indonesia, and beginning to work with the circle of people around them.

[11:50]  The difficult task of sustaining trust and confidence with government security actors, while building relationships to better understand detainees and their families.

[16:00]  Pivoting to focus on women with an active role in violent extremism. Starting a new organisation, SeRVE Indonesia, inspired by experiences in Tunisia.

[18:30]  The kinds of grievances that drive recruitment into extremist organisations, in the Indonesian context. How to address these through dialogue, when structural factors are very slow to change.

[27:45]  Similarities and differences in what drives the recruitment of women. Experiences with migrant domestic workers, and the shifting approach of ISIL/ISIS.

[35:30]  The personal and professional difficulties of working on these issues. Gaps at the grass-roots, despite the high level of international attention to “extremism” issues.