Combating Terrorism: The Role of Millennials in Addressing and Preventing Terrorism


Slamet Pribadi

Faculty of Law, Bhayangkara University Jakarta Raya, Indonesia

*e-mail:  [email protected]




Millennial Generation, Prevention, Terrorism


·       As the wheel of life never stops turning, the same way the fight against terrorism must be carried out. As a country based on Pancasila which inspires divinity and humanity, we as the people of Indonesia must agree and work together to prevent and fight terrorism. All elements and state apparatus have tried to fight terrorism, and from all of them, it is the youth or millennial generation as future leaders who can continue this struggle. It is not a strange thing that currently the movement of terrorist groups still exist and continues to move, they are not only planning a new pattern of attacks at a time and place at this time, but they do not forget to look for the next generation of their movement, new seeds that later implanted a radical thought and seemed heretical. Therefore, the author hopes that this paper can be information and also a reminder for the younger generation, that the era of their struggle in responding to and preventing terrorism has just begun, and therefore their participation must continue to exist in supporting the eradication of terrorism.






Until now, no country has been immune from the threat of terrorism; it continues to be a serious threat to many countries as terrorism is quite threatening to the peace and security of society. There is no universal definition of terrorism, with about 300 different definitions. Many often refer to the very clichéd and old-fashioned definition of terrorism as pornography, which we know when we see it.

Speaking of terrorism in this very modern era, we certainly face challenges that are not easy and different from those that have ever existed before. If we take the example of radical terrorist groups such as ISIS, we can see how modern the terrorism movement is today. One aspect that greatly influences is the use of social media and also the internet.

Today, the internet can be a catalyst that provides tools, scale, and speed like never before. Of course, the terrorism movement also sees an opportunity in this regard (Sardarnia & Safizadeh, 2019). We easily enter their kitchen through posts or tweets on their social media. Many governments in various countries and social media companies do not take this seriously. Most of them only censor content smelling of terrorism or close social media accounts. But this does not seem to be a serious effort and is also effective to do because we easily find other similar accounts popping up after one account is closed. It is likened to dying one grows a thousand, because of the sophistication of the tool.

Technology has made young people rely on social media to get information and various other needs (Akram & Kumar, 2017). Today, social media has become the main reporting platform and source of news for the public, especially young people (Elvestad et al., 2018). It can be seen from recent events such as news about bomb attacks along with related photos that appear faster on social media and the internet than conventional news sources. Many young people also use the internet and social media to obtain pirated or unofficial sources (Cohen et al., 2022). Members of terrorist movements also often coordinate through social media such as telegrams (Shehabat et al., 2017). Even based on the testimony of terror perpetrators, many of them were able to mix bombs sourced from the internet.

The results of the Indonesian Internet User Statistics Data survey by the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII) surveyed Internet Users, the number of Internet users in Indonesia in 2016 was 132.7 million users or around 51.5% of the total population of Indonesia 256.2 million. Of that number, the most users are the younger generation (aged 17-34 years). With a large number of young people actively using social media, it turns out that terrorism-related threats are increasing as well (Bastug et al., 2020). It is undeniable that many young people join terrorist organizations or movements. This is not always caused by the lack of education, both formal and religious, but could be due to the increasingly critical thinking power of young people and also the openness of existing information.

In the information age, education, social media, and civil society institutions are the driving forces to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization (Pelzer, 2018). The minds of young people should be educated in such a way that they can distinguish knowledge and propaganda. The media must strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the dangers of feeding violent extremist tendencies (Flew et al., 2019)

Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Commander General of Pol. Boy, Rafli Amar invited social media and internet users, especially young people, to fight to prevent the spread of radical terrorism, not only through cyberspace but also the surrounding environment. At this time we also need to direct, view, and designate youth as part of the solution rather than the source of problems that will contribute to the unification of the hearts and minds of the youth. Youths are game-changers and agents of peace, partners in the present, and leaders in the future (Sa’ad et al., 2019). Therefore, this paper will explore how the role and attitude of the youth in responding to the threat of terrorism in this modern era. Discusses what might happen in the relationship between young people and terrorism in this modern era and how solutions / or efforts to minimize the threat of terrorism.



This research uses normative research methods by examining each writing, rule, and application, and combined with literature studies by analyzing books, journals, papers, print media, and online news related to the development of the millennial generation against terrorism.  The target data collected is about the millennial generation, interests, metamorphosis, and ways to play an active role in combating terrorism.



A.    Millennial Generation: The Next Generation of the Nation

It is not uncommon to hear some terms that have grouped several layers of society based on the year they were born, or based on the era when they were born. The names Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z are often discussed by all circles. But there are several more groupings that in detail separate some people into a generational group, namely:

a.     The Greatest Generation (born between 1901-1924), those born in this generation can be said to be a generation that suffered the most injuries and high levels of stress, the fact that they had to face the era of war, namely the second world war, this generation became the grandfather and father of the founding fathers of the nation. Everything about communication devices such as mobile phones, internet, and even air conditioning, is far from visible.

b.     The Silent Generation (born between 1924-1945), there is a reason why people in this generation are called the "silent generation", in this age people started to build many things after the end of the war, and many people are starting to feel how a nominal life process where women are at home and take care of their children, and for men they devote their whole lives to a job. In this era, many important figures are fighting for rights and equality such as Martin Luther King. Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert F. Kennedy, those born today chose to remain silent about their careers, rather than become activists.

c.      Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), this era shows many interesting new things, especially in the world of entertainment, new people recognize the term Rock and Roll, and top artists such as Elvis Presley, and The Beatles began to appear on national TV, on the other hand, this era also formed a new habit, namely divorce, this era became the beginning where divorce can be accepted as a social reality.

d.     Generation X (born between 1965-1980), this generation began to show many developments, where computers began to be used in schools although limited and only at a certain level, namely junior high and high school education, generation X is also called the MTV generation, where they began to feel the flow of electronic music, metal, punk, hip-hop and so on. There are also many significant changes to the pattern of life in this generation if previously in the silent generation era, people focused more on family and career to build a better life, then children today are more looking for identity than focusing on having a job, their goals can also change in just a short time, get married quickly also experience divorce is part of the people of that era.

e.     Generation Y (born between 1980-1995), this generation has grown and uses many technologies such as e-mail, instant messaging, and so on, this generation also grew up in the increasingly advanced internet era, they are very open about politics and economics and have sensitivity to social changes that occur around them. People born in this generation are already referred to as millennials.

f.      Generation Z (born in 1995), this generation can be said to be the most extraordinary generation in experiencing, enjoying, and utilizing technology in every line of their lives, most of them began to enter the workforce not only as millennials but they are also called the internet generation.

Think of this grouping as useful, why? Of course, it can help us in seeing the pattern of change that has occurred over several hundred years, besides that we can understand the characteristics and behavior of a person through this term, besides that the most obvious is that we can see differences in characteristics between one generation and another, of course as a record these differences must be used as a tool to understand each person from different generations.

Apa described by Kupperschmidt to the millennial generation, the millennial generation faces many problems and changes in their times, both negatively and positively which create many new phenomena that have a huge impact on an era. Millennials are more concerned with self-achievement through improving their abilities than academic achievement, many of these generations are also shaped by what they see on television, be it movies or other TV shows. Socially, they also have many differences in lifestyle, differences across ethnicity, religion, and race also color this generation, the trend towards divorce cases is also still common. On the other hand, this generation is also considered as a generation that has many abilities and the highest level of intelligence, they can do several things simultaneously (multitasking), dare to take risks, are self-employed, they have a lot of sense and independence, where independence is supported by technological advances, they are critical and intelligent consumers (Kupperschmidt, 2000).

From what Kupperschmidt stated above, the author can understand the huge differences in characteristics of the millennial generation, they are very good at information and technology, this is no longer a tool that supports their activities, but has become part of their lives itself. Millennials are very active in using their social media through various platforms that are now increasingly diverse, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Line, and Whatsapp are some examples of media they use in expressing themselves and their opinions. A relaxed work and education environment is preferred by children of this generation, small talk and friendship color their lifestyle in the social world.

At the same time, the variety of social media in an increasingly important angle can also harm their behavior. Individuals can be different people when in cyberspace than in real life, Social media is a free and infinite environment, the thing that is often forgotten is the boundaries themselves that are created by those who are in them. When connected with ethics and morals, in this case, the millennial generation is often not aware of this, their freedom eventually cannot be controlled and ends up in misuse of social media such as the spread of hoaxes, insults, and ridicule of each other both as perpetrators and victims (Safitri & Dewi, 2021). Seeing how big the impact of the existence of the millennial generation through what is described above, of course, the author hopes that this generation will be able to participate in educating the nation and provide their participation in preventing terrorism because in the end this generation will then take control and become the successor of this country.

According to the author, the right choice is that the Baby Boomers, and Generation X, must have started to hand over the relay to the next generation, namely Generation Y and Generation Z, sooner or later the break will run naturally, and this must be understood very well by generation X, that sooner or later, sincerely or insincerely, there will be a transition. Therefore, Generation X must prepare and what morals will be given to the next generation, especially things that build positive human resources, everything related to this transition process, generation Y, and Z essentially support each other, need each other. It is impossible to exist in generations Y and Z, without the precedence of generation X. And so on, from day to day, until this realm will end by itself. Even though the act of regeneration is not a joke, it must be carefully prepared for what things support life in the future with generations. Understanding and strengthening the nation's philosophy in the form of Pancasila as an asset of the nation and the State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Millennial Generation is one of the serious things to be inherited properly, both with contemporary methods, following the spirit of the millennial generation.


B.    The Participation of the Millennial Generation in Preventing and Countering Terrorism

Millennials are a generation that can become agents of change in society (Champlin & Sterbenk, 2018). Therefore, the hopes and desires for the millennial generation are so great, especially in terms of preventing radical ideas that are often used by terrorists to recruit their new members. Talking about how to be an agent of change in countering terrorism, we can take an example from the smallest thing, namely participation in Islamic Spiritual organizations (Rohis) and mosque youth, since 2012-2014 this positive activity has developed a lot in the community, especially in the school environment because the impact given is quite good seeing school teenagers get more and proportional religious knowledge from the school.

In addition, the millennial generation is considered more open and intelligent than the generation above them (generation x) because the millennial generation is more "literate" in technology and has modern thinking (Özçelik, 2015). This intelligence is expected to be able to make the millennial generation not be influenced by various kinds of content containing radical teachings and extremist movements spread on various social media. Because this is a concern for the entire younger generation, the phenomenon of a lone wolf that spreads terror acts in several regions in Indonesia is carried out by young perpetrators, this is influenced by self-radicalization, which is when a person is independently exposed to radicalism because he teaches himself about jihad and follows the activities carried out by radical movements,  This case once happened to a 14-year-old child, he was secured by the Densus 88 team in Subang before successfully launching his action, this teenager was arrested with evidence of a pipe bomb that he assembled himself. It is terrible the impact of radicalism, not knowing age and family background and work, if it has entered a person's mindset, it will be carried away through ideology and successfully touch the psychological side (Jafar et al., 2019).

The shooting case that occurred at the National Police Headquarters some time ago had become news and attracted attention from various parties. The perpetrator of the bombing was a 25-year-old woman who also used the lone wolf method, she was also a female student who was later known to have dropped out since the fifth semester, through existing searches the perpetrator had posted pictures of ISIS flags and writings about jihad on her Instagram account. The perpetrator did his action calmly, he entered the Police Headquarters office from the back door, then led to the guard post, he asked about the position of the duty officer at the main gate, after being directed the perpetrator then left, shortly after the perpetrator returned to the guard post and took out a gun and pointed it at the officers on guard, approximately 6 shots were fired by the woman before finally being paralyzed by the police and finally killed.

The case above can be a reflection for us that radicalism can attack anyone, even young people, therefore millennials must have a strong foothold based on our ideology (Pancasila) and a good understanding of religion, then elaborated with intelligence in responding to radical and extremist content and teachings. Therefore, against the use of social media, millennials need to apply the ideology of Pancasila. If you understand every element of the precepts contained in Pancasila such as Godhead, Humanity, and Justice, negative things such as the spread of hoaxes, and hate speech can be minimized. Through the practice of Pancasila, everything that is poured into social media can become more ethical and have noble wisdom. Indonesia has a different identity and character from other nations, namely friendly, polite, respectful, and full of responsibility, it is appropriate for the millennial generation to apply these values wherever they are, especially in this case on social media, to shape the pattern of activities in cyberspace for the better and can change the views of foreign countries towards Indonesian society (Suryatni, 2020).

Finally, as a generation that enjoys the most technological and educational advances, the millennial generation is obliged to prevent radicalism through the dissemination of peaceful messages that can be done on the internet and social media. Indonesian youth must equip themselves by strengthening literacy through positive readings, avoiding intolerant groups, and playing an active role in various other positive activities both on campus, at school, and in the outside environment so that they become individuals who excel and are far from radicalism.

According to the author, between Pancasila and the Indonesian Nation, between Pancasila and multi-cultural Indonesia, between Pancasila and the social behavior of the community, all them are inseparable unity, so between Pancasila and generation to generation is also a characteristic of Indonesia, which is second to none. Therefore, to barricade the entry of ideology outside the Pancasila ideology, this nation must: (1) The learning process of Pancasila as the Philosophy of the Indonesian Nation, must be given from an early age, seriously, not depending on the regime of who leads this country.  (2) Understanding Intoleration and Radicalism, very unfavorable to the journey of this Nation towards the golden generation in the future.  (3) Understanding only the Pancasila Philosophy, which can fortify and resist the storm of understanding that damages relations to Indonesia. Including the ideology attached to the followers of the understanding that initiated the act of terrorism. (4) The Indonesian Learning Process in the form of Pancasila, must be adjusted to the millennial learning method.  (5) The courtiers and pioneers of learning the Pancasila Philosophy in Government or Non-Government Institutions must be a combination of Generation X, and Generation Y. For the learning process of the Pancasila Philosophy to adapt to the social development of Indonesia, especially including millennials, no longer the learning managers, are fully held by Generation X or even the Baby Boomers generation. So if this is followed by learning methods that are not current, the Millennial generation will ignore the learning process.



From what has been described above, the author hopes that all levels of society will always be able to avoid radicalism and intolerance, especially in this case the millennial generation, all young people who are the nation's successors. As a generation that will inherit the future of this country, millennials must equip themselves with knowledge and a broad and open mind. The variety of social media and platforms on the internet must be a place for young people to provide messages of peace and education to people from various walks of life.

Until now, there are still many attempts at radicalization by irresponsible perpetrators, not only that other problems related to hoaxes, insults, and cyberbullying continue to color life in cyberspace. Therefore, the cultivation of Pancasila values can be the most efficacious remedy in reducing and changing one's behavior on the internet. This effort can be done by continuing to instill awareness of the importance of Pancasila, love for the motherland, nationalism, and a high sense of tolerance towards each other, considering that our country Indonesia is a country that has a variety of cultures, and races, religions that make us one unity in Bhineka Tunggal Ika.

The high use of social media can be a double-edged knife that can have a positive impact on progress and ease in everything, but at the same time can harm everyone who abuses it. The war on terrorism continues for a time that we have never known, the generation that is now the millennial generation has a duty and responsibility to inherit the spirit and determination of the next generation, and one thing needs to be underlined is that there is never a place for terrorists and the radicalism they bring.



Akram, W., & Kumar, R. (2017). A study on positive and negative effects of social media on society. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 5(10), 351–354.


Bastug, M. F., Douai, A., & Akca, D. (2020). Exploring the “demand side” of online radicalization: Evidence from the Canadian context. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 43(7), 616–637.


Champlin, S., & Sterbenk, Y. (2018). Agencies as agents of change: Considering social responsibility in the advertising curriculum. Journal of Advertising Education, 22(2), 137–143.


Cohen, A., Soffer, T., & Henderson, M. (2022). Students’ use of technology and their perceptions of its usefulness in higher education: International comparison. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 38(5), 1321–1331.


Elvestad, E., Phillips, A., & Feuerstein, M. (2018). Can trust in traditional news media explain cross-national differences in news exposure of young people online? A comparative study of Israel, Norway and the United Kingdom. Digital Journalism, 6(2), 216–235.


Flew, T., Martin, F., & Suzor, N. (2019). Internet regulation as media policy: Rethinking the question of digital communication platform governance. Journal of Digital Media & Policy, 10(1), 33–50.


Jafar, T. F., Sudirman, A., & Rifawan, A. (2019). Ketahanan Nasional Menghadapi Ancaman Lone Wolf Terrorism Di Jawa Barat. Jurnal Ketahanan Nasional, 25(1), 73–91.


Kupperschmidt, B. R. (2000). Multigeneration employees: strategies for effective management. The Health Care Manager, 19(1), 65–76.


Özçelik, G. (2015). Engagement and retention of the millennial generation in the workplace through internal branding. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(3), 99.


Pelzer, R. (2018). Policing of terrorism using data from social media. European Journal for Security Research, 3(2), 163–179.


Sa’ad, A. A., Ahmad, K., & Saleh, A. O. H. (2019). P2p islamic fintech investment innovation. A proposal of mushĀrakah smart contract model for smes financing and social development. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC).


Safitri, A., & Dewi, D. A. (2021). Implementasi Nilai-Nilai Pancasila sebagai Pedoman Generasi Milenial dalam Bersikap di Media Sosial. EduPsyCouns: Journal of Education, Psychology and Counseling, 3(1), 78–87.


Sardarnia, K., & Safizadeh, R. (2019). The internet and its potentials for networking and identity seeking: A study on ISIS. Terrorism and Political Violence, 31(6), 1266–1283.


Shehabat, A., Mitew, T., & Alzoubi, Y. (2017). Encrypted jihad: Investigating the role of Telegram App in lone wolf attacks in the West. Journal of Strategic Security, 10(3), 27–53.


Suryatni, L. (2020). Komunikasi media sosial dan nilai-nilai budaya pancasila social media communications and cultural values of pancasila. JSI (Jurnal Sistem Informasi) Universitas Suryadarma, 5(1), 117–133.