KUALA LUMPUR: Attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants in Malaysia will happen eventually if the authorities do not monitor their activities thoroughly, says a senior Bukit Aman official.
Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said the recent incidents in Australia and France were considered "second-phase attacks", where active IS members carried out violent acts.
"In Malaysia, it is still in the 'first phase', where IS is believed to be recruiting members. However, it must not be assumed that there will be no attacks," he said after giving a talk on the IS threat at the Federal Territory Mosque yesterday.
SAC Ayob said close co-operation between police and other agencies, such as the Islamic Affairs Department and the Immigration Department, could help curb militant threats in the country.
He was responding to questions on the possibility of a militant attack after police foiled an attempt by an IS terror cell on the Saudi Arabia and Qatar embassies with the arrest of two Iraqi nationals last week.
Meanwhile, SAC Ayob said Malaysian women and girls who were arrested after they planned to join IS in Syria had admitted that they were supposed to "entertain" four mujahideen (fighters) simultaneously.
"The reason they gave for going there was to fulfil the lust of four mujahideen simultaneously so that their sins would be erased," he said.
"They were brainwashed to think that their trips there is part of a holy war," he added.
To date, 75 people believed to be linked to IS have been arrested in Malaysia.
In Malacca, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said some 5,000 civil servants in the state would undergo screening to check whether they had any links to IS.
He said the directive was issued after some civil servants from the state were recently placed under police surveillance because of their close interest in the group.
"There is a mechanism to conduct the screening and we will use it to determine the extent of the links to IS," he said yesterday.
It is learnt that the checks would be made on their behavioural patterns and communication style on social media.