Indonesians were stunned over the weekend by photos of kindergarten students dressed as violent extremists. Lies Marcoes writes that while the choice of costume was disturbing, the fact that something like this could happen in an Indonesian kindergarten was not a surprise.

Over a couple of weeks in early May, Indonesia saw the deadliest spate of terrorist activity since the 2005 Bali bombings. Terrorism researcher Judith Jacob writes that the attacks are consistent with global trends in Islamist militancy but they are also distinctively Indonesian in several important ways.

What prompts violent Islamist extremists to turn their backs on violence? What can governments and activists learn from patterns of disengagement? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Julie Chernov Hwang in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

What has spurred the government to attempt to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), what would be the likely impact of such a ban, and what are the challenges for the government in regulating extremist speech and ideology? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Sidney Jones, in the latest episode of the Talking Indonesia podcast.

What are the most important online tools for pro-ISIL groups in Indonesia, and what do these groups use them for? How do their online activities differ to fellow Indonesian jihadis who oppose ISIL? How can the Indonesian government monitor and counter extremists’ activities online? Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Nava Nuraniyah in the final Talking Indonesia podcast for 2016.

Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is promoting Islam Nusantara — its vision of an inclusive and peaceful Islam — as a counterweight to violent extremism. What exactly is meant by the concept? And what can Islam Nusantara offer the broader Muslim world? Dr Nadirsyah Hosen examines the movement.

Many analyses of women’s involvement in fundamentalist groups depict these women as naive victims of more powerful or charismatic men. But as Lies Marcoes explains, young women have distinct political and ideological motives for participating in violent extremist movements. Photo by Armin Hari.

Several hundred Indonesian Muslims have left the country to fight in Syria and Iraq. In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae speaks to Dr Muhamad Najib Azca, from Gadjah Mada University, about the issue, and what the government can do to manage the risks posed by their return.