A worrying discovery has been made by Bukit Aman where around 100 Malaysians were detected as interested to go to Syria and the southern Philippines to join ISIS under a false jihad.
Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division Head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan revealed the intel after Bukit Aman monitored close to 4,000 social media pages. He also said that surveillance is still ongoing at the moment.
DCP Ayob expressed his worries as these individuals were still drawn to the preaching by IS recruiters although constant enforcement has been mobilised to fight against the militant influence. He told The Star that,
“The main recruiter in Syria is none other than Akel Zainal, a Malaysian. Following the death of Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, Akel has taken over as the Malaysian militant leader to recruit more people for the ISIS cause.”
He also revealed that Akel is using social media sites as their main recruiting tool. Akel was in Syria in early 2014 where he was active in gunfights and terror operations there.
The ex-musician with at least 15,000 followers on Facebook has been recruiting young Malaysians for the cause. DCP Ayob said,
“One of the first recruited by Akel was a female Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor student in 2014. She ended up going to Syria and marrying.”
It has been identified by the Counter-Terrorism Division that 54 Malaysians – 23 men, 11 women, 12 boys and eight girls are still in Syria today.
102 Malaysians had gone to Syria since 2013 but at least 11 of them have come home while 37 men were killed in Syria and Iraq. The rest are still with IS in Syria.
Please be aware of any social media messages or postings that might seem innocent when you go through them initially. Be sure to report to the authorities when you come across extremist and radical content.
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