Weed­ing out IS back­ers in mil­i­tary

> 1% of po­ten­tial sus­pects mon­i­tored are in armed forces: Hisham­mud­din

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY AMAR SHAH MOHSEN

KUALA LUMPUR: One out of ev­ery 100 in­di­vid­u­als in the coun­try iden­ti­fied by the Spe­cial Branch (SB) counter-ter­ror­ism unit for po­ten­tial in­volve­ment with the Is­lamic State (IS) is a ser­vice­man.

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein, in dis­clos­ing this, said the mil­i­tary is work­ing closely with its po­lice coun­ter­part with re­gard to its per­son­nel and that those found guilty will face the full brunt of the law.

“If we re­ceive in­for­ma­tion from the SB, or the pub­lic, we will take the nec­es­sary ac­tion,” he told a press con­fer­ence af­ter open­ing the 40th Pa­cific Armies Man­age­ment Sem­i­nar (PAMS) here yes­ter­day.

He said the min­istry is go­ing all out to en­sure none of its per­son­nel are in­volved in the ac­tiv­i­ties by IS, also known as Daesh.

The Armed Forces Re­li­gious Corps (Ka­gat) and the mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence unit have been tasked with mon­i­tor­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing soldiers show­ing in­ter­est in join­ing mil­i­tant groups, he added.

Mean­while, Spe­cial Branch di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Mo­hamad Fuzi Harun said it was per­ti­nent that ac­tion be taken against se­cu­rity per­son­nel in­volved in mil­i­tancy due to their ex­per­tise in op­er­at­ing firearms and other weapons.

“It’s the same too for po­lice. We don’t want them to be in­volved be­cause we know they can op­er­ate th­ese weapons and pose a grave dan­ger to the pub­lic.

“We won’t view this mat­ter lightly. If even our se­cu­rity per­son­nel are in­volved in mil­i­tancy, how is the pub­lic sup­posed to feel safe, and how can the coun­try be safe?” he said, adding that at least 10 mil­i­tary men have been ar­rested for ter­ror-linked of­fences.

Ear­lier in his speech, Hisham­mud­din said he would not be de­terred from the fight against Daesh de­spite a re­cent threat by the ter­ror­ist group to kid­nap him and sev­eral other top lead­ers in the coun­try.

“Daesh has for some rea­son thought it worth­while to have me kid­napped. As long as the Malaysian mil­i­tary is be­hind me, I will face them head-on,” he said.

Hisham­mud­din ac­com­pa­ny­ing United States Army Pa­cific com­man­der Gen Robert B. Brown to the open­ing cer­e­mony of the sem­i­nar.

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