No armed forces personnel found with IS links so far this year

Oct 20, 2016
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Mindef would continue to monitor to thwart armed forces personnel from being involved in Islamic State.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Mindef would continue to monitor to thwart armed forces personnel from being involved in Islamic State.

After the arrest of 13 personnel in previous two years for having links with the Islamic State (IS) terror group, the armed forces did not find any personnel involved such activities this year.

In revealing this, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein however, said his ministry, Mindef, would not be complacent and rest on its laurels.

He said Mindef would continue to monitor and supervise military personnel to ensure they do not get involved with IS militants.

In 2014, police detained two soldiers with IS links.

In 2015, a total of 11 soldiers were arrested.

All were subsequently prosecuted.

Nine were found guilty and the other two are still undergoing trial.

Hishammuddin said this in his reply to a question from opposition MP Lee Boon Chye (PKR-Gopeng) during parliamentary session today.

Lee has asked on the extent the IS ideology had affected soldiers.

Hishammuddin said the need for intelligence was even more important with the threat of ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists, who were prepared to commit violence alone, adding that the grassroots support was vital in dealing with the matter as it involved public safety.

The minister pointed out that lone wolves do not necessarily need heavy firearms to commit their crime.

Citing an example, he said the terror attack that killed scores in Nice, France was carried out by one man, using a large truck which ploughed through a crowd.

He said the Asean region was not targeted for attack by terrorists but proactive counter terrorism is important, nevertheless.

Hishammuddin would soon meet up with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammad Salman to follow up on the latest developments in the Middle East.

They will likely share information on the situation in Mosul, Iraq.

Iraqi government forces launched a United States-backed offensive on Monday to drive out IS militants from the city.

Hishammuddin said it was imperative to monitor the movement of the terrorists who left Mosul as they would return to their home countries and look for a place to establish a new caliphate.

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