KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The effort to recruit Malaysian girls to join militant groups is taking an aggressive turn with school children being targeted in the recruitment drive.
Principal assistant director of the Counter Terrorism Division of the Special Branch at Bukit Aman, SAC Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay, in revealing this said, the individual concerned was actively recruiting this group via Facebook as they were young and easily misled.
“The trend to recruit youngsters between the ages of 15 and 30 through Facebook is worrying. We are aware that some secondary school students have extremism tendencies and have been persuaded through Facebook.
“Besides school children, students of private and public higher learning institutions with family and educational problems, government and private sector employees and businessmen are also being coaxed to strive together and fight,” he said when contacted by Bernama here yesterday.
Ayob Khan said the three militant groups with Malaysian participation in Syria were the Islamic State (IS), Jabhat al-Nusra and Ajnad al-Sham.
He said the targeted groups were usually taken in by verses from the Al-Quran and fighting alongside the mujahideen.
“At times only part of Al-Quran verses are used or verses are misinterpreted to make their objectives legitimate,” he said.
In that context, Ayob Khan said it was now appropriate for religious authorities to take proactive measures in dealing with this matter and ward off these militant groups’ propaganda at once.
In this regard, he said that religious authorities should issue an official fatwa as carried out by several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia which had banned its citizens from helping extremist fighters in battlefields of other countries especially Syria, as a measure to curb militant recruitment.
“Controlling militant ideology and breeding is the role of the religious authorities. The police will take action if there are evidence and basis of individuals planning acts of violence,” he said.