Kuala Lumpur: Islamic State (IS) 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 here today. Malaysia’s Armed Forces Religious Corps (Kagat) deputy director-general Brig-Gen Nawawi Daud said military and police personnel were targeted by IS 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 IS 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 IS threat,” he said.
He added that while there were cases of military and police personnel found to be linked to IS, 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 IS 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.