PETALING JAYA - They are Malaysians with a salafi jihadist mindset and they are undergoing militant training provided by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is trying to conquer a large part of the Middle-East.
However, these militants may not have just the Middle-East on their minds. Their ultimate target could well be Malaysia. They may be out to topple the government and eradicate any form of secular governance.
Some who had joined ISIL are civil servants and students, including those from pondok (village) schools. Among them was a naval officer who was arrested last week.
Police realise that these militants can pose a danger to national security and are zooming in on them.
Salafi jihadists are fighting for what they believe are the true teachings of Islam as practised by their forefathers. Salaf means ancestors in Arabic.
The salafi jihadists in Malaysia aim to free the country from what they perceive as the "shackles of secularism".
Police uncovered the participation of salafi jihadists in ISIL militant training following a crackdown on the international terror network's recruitment drive in Malaysia.
The ISIL terror network has sent shockwaves throughout the world by their acts of deadly violence that target mainly the Shi'ite Muslims in Syria and Iraq.
A Pahang-born man has gained notoriety as the first Malaysian suicide bomber in Iraq. Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki drove a military SUV filled with tonnes of explosives into the SWAT headquarters in al-Anbar last month, blowing himself up and killing 25 elite soldiers.