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Patrialis Akbar, Indonesia's justice minister, is responsible for administering the government's policy of "deradicalising" members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a group that has long been engaged in an armed conflict with the government.

But in an interview with Al Jazeera to discuss the re-educating programme, Patrialis Akbar said he would encourage and even fund the same fighters to carry out "bomb attacks in Israel instead".

However, later in the discussion he toned down his words and said that he does not encourage violence.

His statement caused much controversy and international condemnation, but Dino Patti Djalal, a spokesman for the Indonesian president, said Akbar was only expressing frustration after Israel's attack on the aid-carrying flotilla bound for Gaza last month in which nine activists were killed and scores were wounded. 

Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta, Indonesia's capital.