‘MILITANT GROUPS RECRUIT IN VARSITIES’
Religious schools are a barrier to spread of deviant teachings, says counter-terrorism expert
UNIVERSITIES, rather than pondok or religious schools, are the obvious choice for militant groups such as Islamic State (IS) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to spread their radical ideology and recruit members.
Bukit Aman’s Special Branch counterterrorism division principal assistant director Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay said many people had the misconception that religious schools in states such as Kelantan were used by the groups to spread their ideology.
“It cannot be denied that there are one or two religious schools in the country used by the militant groups to spread their ideology, but not all schools.
“Religious schools are actually a barrier against the spread of deviant teachings. About 99 per cent of religious schools practise true Islamic teachings based on Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’h.”
Ayub said the spread of the militant groups’ ideology among university students had been proven with the arrest of 23 people from several universities, higher learning institutes and secondary schools for their involvement in IS and al-Qaeda.
He said 11 were university students, eight were secondary school students and four were students of other institutions of higher learning.
“Another 17 Malaysian students studying abroad were detained for their involvement in JI and al-Qaeda.”
Asked about the latest arrest of nine men, including two from Kelantan, he said the case was under investigation.
Ayub was commenting on their arrest in a coordinated nationwide swoop in five states including two in Kelantan in operations between March 15 and 21.
Those arrested included a primary school teacher, security guard, mechanic, cybercafe worker and restaurant worker.
The group was planning to blow up the Tapah police station in Perak when they were arrested.
Ayub did not rule out that more arrests would be made by the division in future.
“We will continue to carry out similar operations from time to time and if there is evidence of involvement in militant groups, we will not hesitate to make arrests.
“We have received information that these groups have used states located near a neighbouring country as transit to bring in weapons and explosive devices.”
He said Perak recorded the highest number of detained IS members with 38 arrested so far, followed by Kuala Lumpur (33), Kedah (33), Johor (28) and Kelantan (18).
Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay says religious schools are a barrier against the spread of deviant teachings.