A few Malaysian citizens backed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group is taking advantage of the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar by purportedly ‘defending’ the oppressed minority in the Rakhine State to wage a ‘holy war’ against the Myanmar government.
Royal Malaysian Police Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division Assistant Director, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, said that in reality, the militants are just using the Rohingya issue “as a platform to recruit new members” in order to execute its terrorist acts.
Ayob explained that IS has also been using the social media to share images of the persecuted minority to induce sympathy and lure the public to join them.
“At the same time, we have intelligence information on the possibility of Indonesians involved in militant activities in their country,” he said after the launch of the ‘IS Threat to Youths Awareness Seminar’ that was held in Malacca, on Sunday.
Straits Times news agency quoted Ayob as saying, Myanmar’s proximity to Malaysia gives the militant group the opportunity to spread their influence in the volatile state of Rakhine.
On the other hand, Ayob also revealed that a 38 year-old cendol seller from Malacca has been arrested on 10th September 2017, on suspicion of promoting and spreading IS propaganda via printing and distribution of the terror group’s flags.
Despite the death of IS South East Asia operations leader, Muhamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, who died in a drone attack in Raqqa, Syria in April, the recruitment of new members are still being actively conducted.
As of now, Ayob said that there are four Malaysians in Syria believed to be recruiting Malaysians to be part of the group.