Malaysia's arrest of IS suspects include country's main recruiters

Malaysia's arrest of IS suspects include country's main recruiters
Akel Zainal, formerly famous for being the drummer in 90s rock band Ukays, now lead a group of Malaysians fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

KUALA LUMPUR - Islamic State's main recruiters in Malaysia, who funded trips to Syria for converts and used Facebook to attract young supporters, were among the 14 suspected militants arrested earlier this week, Malaysian authorities said late on Wednesday.

The three Malaysians played individual roles to promote, recruit and finance trips to Syria, the police said in a statement.

The arrests on Monday and Tuesday included an assistant director from Malaysia's ministry of energy, green technology and water, whose task was to fund trips for recruits to enter Syria, and is linked to three wanted Abu Sayyaf militants.

Another key player in the operation is a 34-year-old who fought in Syria for four months before returning in April this year. The suspect's role was to guide, encourage and share experiences with aspiring militants, said police.

The third person, a 37-year-old, used a Facebook account to promote and upload propaganda material and recruited female university students to be sent to Syria.

Malaysia has arrested 37 suspects tied to the Islamic State since April. The authorities estimate at least 30 Malaysians have left for Syria and at least 15 have died in Syria while fighting for the terrorist organisation.

The arrests this week also included a 14-year-old high school student and a family of five.

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