Kuala Lumpur: ISIS is targeting Malaysian military and police personnel to recruit them as they have the expertise in combat and in handling weapons, a top official of the country’s armed forces said on Saturday.
Malaysia’s Armed Forces Religious Corps (Kagat) deputy director-general Brig-Gen Nawawi Daud said military and police personnel were targeted by ISIS because they were already trained for combat and had knowledge and skills in handling weapons.
“These two uniformed groups also have access to weapons and even bombs so IS targets them,” he said at a forum about ISIS and its threat in Malaysia .
Brig Gen Nawawi said, however, constant efforts were being made to make sure that members of the armed forces are not attracted to IS. “We hold regular briefings and seminars to educate our members about this and I know the police also do the same. Perhaps in the future the armed forces and police can jointly come up with a more integrated programme to educate our men and women about the ISIS threat,” he said.
He added that while there were cases of military and police personnel found to be linked to ISIS, the number was very small. Another speaker, an officer from Special Branch Counter- Terrorism Division (Investigations and Legal) officer Ahmad Norisham agreed and said the police was constantly monitoring and added they had so far foiled nine attempts at recruitment by this group.
He said this relatively new trend by ISIS to get its supporters to carry out attacks in their own countries was due to the fact that it had become increasingly difficult for them to travel to Syria.
“Ninety per cent of their recruitment is still done via social media and we are closely monitoring it,” he said.