White Paper: Returning Malaysian militants pose real danger to country

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Malaysian militants returning from fighting for the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq pose a clear danger to the country, warned a White Paper on terrorism.

The Paper, that was presented in parliament on Wednesday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, also said that there was a risk that Malaysia could become a hub to finance terror activities if there were no proper laws in place.

The Paper said that the returning militants had the potential to continue their terrorist activities by establishing cells and carrying out attacks in the country.

"They can influence and recruit individuals especially the youth. Police investigations reveal that youth are the easiest target of IS. This has to be stopped to prevent Malaysia from becoming a terrorism hub," said the Paper.

The document also said that militants who'd gone overseas to fight with Islamic State could build networks that could be continued over social networks.

"They have the potential to conduct terror attacks on their own or in groups," said the Paper.

It further raised the issue of Sabah's east coast that is currently under threat from Abu-Sayyaf militants who have pledged allegiance to IS and warned that there was a possibility that the IS network in Sabah could spread to Sarawak.

The Paper added that the release of 250-300 former Jemaah Islamiyah members from prisons in Indonesia from next year could have an impact on security in Malaysia.

This was because some of those in custody and ex-JI leader Abu Bakar Bashir had pledged allegiance to the IS.

"After being released, there is a big worry that they will link up with other JI members in Malaysia to form an IS network. There were reports that the Malaysian and Indonesian militants in Syria formed the Katibah Nusantara Lid-Daulah Islamiah," it said.