Cops to fight IS cyber threat with intensified warfare
The aggressive recruiting of IS followers through social media has prompted the police to counter the threat through the Internet. Cyber warfare needs to be intensified in preventing the Islamic State (IS) ideology from spreading in this country. Principal assistant director of the Counter Terrorism Division of the Special Branch in Bukit Aman SAC Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay said the cooperation of all government agencies, including the religious authorities are needed.
“A website should be set up to answer all questions from the public on the Islamic aspects with regard to the IS militant group,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview, here, yesterday.
“The move (setting up the website) will enable people to get the facts right at any time, via online.” Ayub Khan said the religious authorities, too, could play an important role by correcting any misunderstanding of jihad and its related issues.
He noted the good example set by a neighbouring country which had been playing an active role through its websites, exposing the aberrant IS ideology.
“It has also been going to the ground to distribute leaflets in English, Tamil and Mandarin on the IS bluff and not just giving public lectures via television and sermons. ”The time has come for such engagement, including with the media to educate the public on the true meaning of jihad…this problem (influence of the IS ideology) does not only exist in Malaysia but has spread to other parts of the world too,” he said.
Ayub Khan said the strength of the IS media lay in their mastery of using the social websites with thousands of fast-working cyber troopers to rebut the statements made by their detractors on the IS’ wrong interpretation of the Quran and Hadith. Among the IS group’s justification is to legalise sexual intercourse with prisoners of war and allowing sexual intercourse with underage girls who have not reached puberty, he said.
Ayub Khan was commenting on the threats posed by the IS group and the spread of its ideology in Malaysia, including through social media as they are also persuading school students to join them, which is very alarming.
Last Wednesday, police arrested a 14-year-old female student as she was about to fly off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to join the IS militant group in Syria.
The girl, who is from Muar, Johor and a student at a tahfiz school in Shah Alam, had wanted to travel to Syria via Egypt, and police believe she has a friend or contact in Egypt.
Ayub Khan said from the monitoring carried out, police found there were still Malaysians who believed in the IS ideology and were keen to join the militant group in Syria despite the arrests made on individuals in preventing their departure.
He said the main issue was the aggressive recruiting of IS followers through the social media. The IS is hinged on the Salafi-Jihadi ideology which promotes Daulah Islamiah through waging wars and branding the title “infidels” on Islamic governments that do not uphold Syariah laws.