MALAYSIA’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein admitted today that about 1 percent of those being monitored for possible links to the Islamic State (IS) terror network are from the armed forces.
The minister said the number may be small but the government and enforcement authorities view the matter seriously.
“We are going all out. The Military Religious Corps (Kagat) and Military Intelligence have been tasked to monitor and gather intelligence on our men and women for any signs that they may be influenced by militant propaganda,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Star.
The Malaysian leader, who was speaking at an event in Kuala Lumpur Monday, also warned against the easy spread of the IS influence.
“Anyone with a laptop or a computer can be exposed to this and we must stay vigilant,” he was quoted saying.
Authorities in Malaysia have been on high alert for possible militant activities following the June 28 attack on a nightclub in a Puchong, a town just outside the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur.
The attack that left eight people injured was said to be the country’s first by the IS terror network. Two out of six suspects involved in the attack were charged with two counts of terrorism each, according to The Star.
Days before Malaysia celebrated its Independence Day on Aug 31, local police nabbed three men allegedly involved in IS activities. The men were allegedly planning a number of attacks in the capital.
The trio – all Malaysian citizens – were detained during a three-day operation in the states of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Pahang.
According to a statement by Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar, they received orders from a man named Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi to carry out bomb attacks in several places.
Wanndy is a Malaysian known to be fighting with IS in Syria and is also believed to have been behind the Puchong bar bombing.