‘WE CANNOT TAKE TERROR THREAT LIGHTLY’
‘Lone wolf’ attacks that happened in Europe could occur in our region, too, says Hishammuddin
HARIZ MOHD LANGKAWI email@example.com
THE country cannot afford to take the threat of terrorism lightly as Southeast Asia also faces the risk of attack, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein following Wednesday’s terror incident in London.
He said the attack at Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, which left four people dead and scores others injured, proved it was a necessity to address the issue of terrorism.
“What happened in Europe could occur in our region. As I have reminded the public, Alhamdulillah, our country is peaceful, and our security agencies have things under control.
“However, from the ministry’s and armed forces’ perspective, we are concerned that once offensive operations (against the Islamic State) are successful, it is possible for IS members to return to their home countries, including Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, as well as Malaysia.
“What I am most worried about is the spread of terrorism on social media that might inspire lone wolf attacks, such as what happened in Nice and London,” Hishammuddin said after a ceremony in which the government signed 35 agreements at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition here yesterday.
He said he was told that IS had already claimed responsibility for the London attack.
He said this was another reason the setting up of the King Salman Centre for International Peace, announced during the Saudi ruler’s state visit to Malaysia recently, could not wait.
“This is something that we want to work on quickly, and it is on the fast track.
“The trust given by His Majesty to this centre also shows that Saudi Arabia is confident with Malaysia’s ability to come up with a counter-narrative to the IS ideology.”
He said he had contacted his counterpart in London to extend his condolences over the incident, and to state that Malaysia was in solidarity with the United Kingdom in facing the tragedy.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman with United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the US State Department in Washington on Tuesday.