UNAIR Expert: Beware of virtual terrorism propaganda targeting millennials

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Illustration by Kajianpustaka.com

UNAIR NEWS – Some time ago the public was shocked by a suicide bombing at Makassar Cathedral Church Gate on Sunday, March 28, 2021, and the attack on National Police Headquarters on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. After carrying out the action, the perpetrators always left behind a will. The similarity in the contents of the wills led to public suspicion that the perpetrators were related.

After an investigation, it was found that the suicide bombers at Makassar Cathedral Church Gate and the attack on the Police Headquarter were of productive age. L, the suicide bomber was a 26-year-old male, while ZA, the assailant of National Police Headquarter, was 25 years old. Their ages raised a hypothesis among the community that productive age individuals are more easily exposed to the ideology of violence and radicalism.

Ilham Nur Alfian, M.Psi., Psych who is a lecturer at Faculty of Psychology Universitas Airlangga said that the ideological doctrines of violence and radicalism have no correlation with people of productive age. “Currently, the context is a model of ideological doctrine of violence and radicalism carried out through social media,” he explained.

 

“Modern terrorism uses virtual propaganda with the help of media to multiply terror and terrorists in a country, including Indonesia. Modern terrorist attacks have decreased in terms of quality but increased in terms of popularity, “added the Coordinator of the Joint Lectures, Center for Nationalism Education, Character and Inter Professional Education (PPK2IPE) UNAIR.

The habits of productive age people who like to surf on social media make them easily exposed to the ideology of violence and terrorism. “It is in the context of the use of virtual propaganda that millennial groups or those currently in productive age are at risk and vulnerable agaist this doctrine (violence and terrorism, ed) because they surf on social media a lot,” explained Ilham.

Communities exposed to virtual propaganda tend to launch a pattern of terrorist attacks called “Lone Wolf”. They tend to do their actions on a small and random scale. “This is where the danger is, attacks may occur anywhere and anytime,” said Ilham.

The psychological characteristics of a terrorist are also difficult to identify. “It is rather difficult to identify what psychological characteristics can be used to identify the tendency of people to commit acts of terrorism,” he explained.

To prevent people from being easily exposed to the ideology of violence and terrorism, Ilham advised the members of community to be more careful in receiving all information. “Obviously, critical thinking in an overflowing information situation on social media is important,” concluded Ilham.

Author: Icha Nur Imami Puspita

Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia

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