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by Irfan Abu Bakar
A major problem with the Indonesian government’s efforts to counter radical ideology is lack of effective strategic communication in winning broader public support for their goals. This paper analyzes the level of effectiveness with which the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has managed to deliver its message to target audiences in order to shape their opinions and behaviors towards radical ideology. This analysis emphasizes particularly the government’s recent shut down of alleged radical Islamic websites. This study shows that BNPT’s hardline programs managed to decrease the number of terrorists and weaken their networks. However, these counterradicalism programs have failed to convincingly involve the broader Muslim population to motivate them to challenge radical ideology, which remains pervasive in the public sphere. In order for the government to effectively shape people’s minds and behavior with regard to the threat of radicalism, it is necessary to ensure the clarity of the message, to enhance understanding of the target audience, and to maximize use of different channels of communications.