A top Malaysian police officer warns of suicide attacks as Isis fighters return home, saying those coming from Syria and Iraq could attempt to spread the word through social media.
Inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador, in an interview with South China Morning Post says Malaysian returnees from Syria and Iraq are frustrated with their failure to achieve martyrdom with the collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate and could attempt to continue their holy mission in their homeland by staging suicide attacks.
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“They have not been able to implement all their ideals, practise what they have been trained for … so they want to do this [holy mission] back home to release their frustration.”
The paper says more than two dozen Malaysians are holed up in refugee camps in northern Syria after the fall of Isis in March.
According to Bador, all these possibilities are there when they return, based on the experience of countries who have dealt with returnees,, assuring, “We will cover all these angles. We will deal with it cautiously.”
He blamed tech giants for failing to identify and remove extremist messages swiftly claiming this has allowed impressionable young people to easily access harmful material, which ended up radicalising them.
In an article on the ISIS returnees, The Independent wrote the threats of extremism among Malaysian ISIL returnees will be far from over.
The Independent reported that recent terrorism crimes by ISIL returnees in Indonesia are a vivid reminder of what we are dealing with.
In a mid-March incident, a woman, who’s husband had been arrested by the Special Forces counterterrorism squad, became a suicide bomber. The bomb she unleashed took the life of her toddler and rocked 155 houses in Sibolga, North Sumatra, causing 166 families to be homeless.
In May 2018, a family of six who carried out three church bombings in Indonesia had returned from Syria, Indonesian police say.
Bador, who spent 15 years in counterterrorism operations in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, was recently appointed as Malaysia’s police chief for a two-year term in May after serving as the director of Special Branch, the intelligence arm of the Royal Malaysian Police or PDRM.
He is a crucial element in Dr Mahathir’s hunt for 1MDB suspects and is said to be a man given a mission by the PM, that is to hunt for corrupt officials every where.