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Through the Militant Lens: The Power of Ideology and Narratives

Prof. Dr. Rohan Gunaratna and Ms. Orla Hennessy, ICCT

In March 2012, Prof. Dr. Rohan Gunaratna interviewed Umar Patek and Ali Imron, both of whom have admitted involvement in the two bomb attacks in Bali in October 2002 which killed over 200 people. This ICCT Research Paper explores violent extremist “narratives” within the Indonesian context by interviewing a convicted terrorist and one currently undergoing trial. It is hoped that by understanding and de-constructing those emotional stories or ideologies that are often told and used to justify violence, or to motivate someone to commit violence, in pursuit of a cause; that the policy making community can then counter these narratives more effectively. This Paper first explores the background of violent extremist narratives and then recounts and analyzes the Patek and Imron interviews. Based on these interviews and current knowledge of violent extremist narratives, the paper concludes with a series of recommendations.


Resource published 2012