Malaysia remains transit point for terrorist groups
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Malaysia remains a “source and transit” point for terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS), Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, says a US government’s report on terrorism in 2018.
The Country Reports on Terrorism 2018, published yesterday, takes note of Malaysia’s efforts to combat terrorism by various means, including monitoring social media, border patrols and rules to counter financing of terrorism.
This includes Bank Negara’s “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Policy-Digital Currencies” directive.
The report said that while there were no-IS affiliated attacks in Malaysia last year, suspected IS supporters from Turkey and individuals travelling to the southern Philippines to support IS-affiliated groups used Malaysia as a transit point.
“Malaysia monitored, arrested, deported and tried suspected supporters of terrorist groups,” said the report.
Last year, the report said police arrested some 20 individuals in Sabah for alleged terrorism-related activities, including smuggling militants into southern Philippines, enabling kidnapping operations, recruiting children as militants and human shields, as well as participating in Abu Sayyaf beheadings.
“Malaysia also co-operated with the US and others to increase border security capacity at airports and in the Sulu Sea to counter terrorist messaging on social media and to improve terrorist prosecutions.”
The report highlighted four terrorism-related incidents in Malaysia for 2018.
These were the unsuccessful kidnapping attempt in Malaysian territorial waters in August; the kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen off the coast of Semporna, Sabah (Sept 11); the killing of two kidnapping-for-ransom group members near Kunak, Sabah (Sept 20); and the kidnapping of three Malaysian crew of a tugboat near Pegasus Reef, Sabah.
Malaysia, the report added, continues to support counter-terrorism efforts in numerous regional and multilateral organisations and events.
Source: Free Malaysia Today