Last month, 25 February 2018, in Hotel Borobudur, the splendid place on the northern side of the Lapangan Banteng square in Jakarta, a special meeting took place: 120 ex-terrorists offered their apologies to several score of their victims. The terminology of mantan (meaning 'former') was used. It was the conclusion of a process of several days, where culprits and victims lived together in the luxurious hotel. They were involved in the Bali bombings (2002 and 2005), the two attackls on Hotel Marriott in Jakarta (2003 and 2009), the Australian Embassy (2004) and the great shopping centre Sarina (2016), a building from the Sukarno period.
In my youth, the 1960s, there was much debate about de-radicalisation, or how to change the minds of radical and (sometimes) violent people. At that time it was the New Age movements like the Moonies (Unification Church), Hare Krishna,but also leftist groups like Baader-Meinhof, Rote Armee Fraktion. And often the mild terminology of 'brainwashing' was used to reduce their guilt or responsibility. It proved to be very difficult to change the mind of what were considered victims.