KUALA LUMPUR - Police have detained a 14-year-old girl suspected of trying to join the Islamic State terror group.
The girl, who is from Muar, was arrested by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division before she could board a Cairo-bound flight at KL International Airport at about 7.30pm on Tuesday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the girl was planning to marry a 22-year-old Malaysian student in Cairo. Both of them would then go to Istanbul before securing passage to Syria.
"We discovered that she had been in contact with two Malaysian militants based in Syria. We will investigate further to uncover the mastermind behind the recruitment of Malaysian girls for the IS," he said in a statement yesterday.
"We will not allow Malaysia to be used as a training ground or hideout for terrorists and militants. Anyone in support or in league with any terrorist will be detained."
The girl was arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
Intelligence sources said the girl's would-be husband is a student at Cairo's Al-Azhar University.
It is learnt that the girl, who studied at a tahfiz institute in Shah Alam, had attempted to go to Cairo without her family's consent. She had even threatened to kill herself if her parents did not let her go.
"The girl was hard-headed when interrogated by Bukit Aman officers," a source said.
The latest arrest brings the number of people linked to terrorism arrested in Malaysia to 68 since February 2013.
Among those arrested were navy and air force personnel and civil servants, including an Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry officer.
Sources said the trend of Malaysians joining the IS was continuing despite the arrests.
Just last month, a young Malaysian couple, with their infant son, managed to elude the authorities to go to Syria to join the terror group.
"They went to Bangkok before taking a flight to Istanbul. They then entered Syria via a land route," a source said.
It is believed that the family went to Syria late last month.
Bukit Aman is still hunting five known militants who are believed to have links to IS and the Abu Sayyaf terror group based in the Philippines.