AMMAN — December 6, 2016: Malaysian police has foiled 14 attempts by the Daesh militant group to stage attacks in Malaysia.
Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, principal assistant director of the Special Branch counter terrorism division, said the people only know of the attack on an entertainment centre in Puchong on June 28 and many did not believe that the Daesh threat is clear and present.
“I have been talking about Daesh since 2013 but only after the bombing in Puchong did they believe it,” he said while speaking at a seminar at the University of Jordan on countering extremism. Ayob Khan did not elaborate on the many attempts.
He told the audience that Daesh makes maximum use of social media to recruit members and disseminate its ideology.
“It has thousands of cyber troopers…. always countering what we propagate.
“The group has an online TV that operates round the clock. It has websites and Twitter accounts which have been blocked. From the middle of 2015 up to now, 360,000 accounts have been blocked,” said Ayob Khan.
The group also publishes an online magazine called Dabiq, which means that the authorities have to focus on social media to counter the propaganda.
“They also have five groups of hackers. A Kosovo national studying at a private institution in Malaysia had hacked the website of a company, stolen the personal details of United States soldiers and passed them on to Daesh.
“We arrested him and extradited him to the US. He was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison.”
Ayob Khan also said Daesh disseminates its ideology in 23 languages.
At one point there were 27 Malaysian men, 12 women, nine boys and eight girls with Daesh in Syria. Twenty-seven died there while returned to Malaysia.
In Malaysia, 260 people from several countries have been arrested for involvement in militant groups, 82 of them last years and 115 so far this year.
Among the Malaysians arrested, 14 were soldiers including 4 commandos, and 3 policemen. — Bernama