May 8, 2018: Jihadi prison siege in Indonesia

On May 8, 2018 155 members of a possible ISIS-linked Indonesian terrorist group took over a prison, eventually killing five officers.

DEPOK, INDONESIA – You would think that once we put terrorists away in prison we can lighten up. You would also be wrong.

Prisons are interesting institutions. They serve to house criminals who would otherwise wreak havoc on our societies. We used to just kill these social misfits, what we all ‘capital punishment‘, but more and more countries are doing away with the ultimate penalty. Hence the need for prisons.

These places are also supposed to serve to rehabilitate inmates so that they can eventually, save in the most exceptional of circumstances, rejoin society at one point. On that front their record is decidedly mixed.

Not the best place to spend one’s most productive years. (Photo: Jobs For Felons Hub on Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

One population that is really hard to rework is the jihadi one. Correctional facilities around the world house these terrorists and not only do many not reform but an alarming number radicalise other inmates. Some even carry out attacks while ‘inside’.

Beginning On This Day in 2018

155 members of the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD) took over Mako Brimob prison in Depok (near the capital city of Jakarta), eventually killing five officers: a sixth was knifed to death by another jihadi after the terrorists surrendered to authorities.

They’ve been causing trouble for some time at Mako Brimob.

Terrorism analyst Sydney Jones

JAD may have links to Islamic State (ISIS) as the group’s black flags were displayed during the takeover. One more example of the difficulty of dealing with terrorist prisoners.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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