The founder of the school, former militant Khairul Ghazali wants to prevent the sons of militants from following in their fathers' footsteps.

A student sits in a classroom at Al-Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 22, 2017.
A student sits in a classroom at Al-Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 22, 2017. (AP)

A former Indonesian militant is trying to atone for his crimes by steering the children of terrorists away from radicalism.

Khairul Ghazali is a former preacher whose involvement in militancy stretches back decades. 

He was recruited at age 19 by the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group responsible for Bali bombings.

He was arrested in 2010, after years of terrorist activity in both Afghanistan and Indonesia.

After spending years in jail, he set up Al-Hidayah Islamic Boarding school in Sumatra for the children of militants.

Nearly half of the students' fathers were killed in police raids, and in some cases the children witnessed their demise. 

Most of the other fathers are in prison for terrorism offenses.

At a time of heightened terror concerns across the region, Ghazali says it is important to discourage radicalism now more than ever. 

Source: TRT World