Thursday, February 25, 2016

Only few in military have Isis leanings, says army chief

Militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) has targeted members of the Malaysian armed forces as recruits, the army said today. General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor said, however, that only a small number of people in the military were found to have tendencies to support Isis in Malaysia. "I don't mean recruiting like setting up a table to do it. That is not accurate and not true. "But at the same time I cannot deny that there are those who have such tendencies," he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. Affandi said over the past one year, seven soldiers were identified as having leanings towards Isis. He said three of them were awaiting trial while two others had been jailed. The other two were under police observation. "Although there may be those with such tendencies, we are trying to identify them, so we can prevent them from the start," he said. Preventive measures taken by the armed forces include screening its men and women, such as checking their backgrounds to detect tendencies of joining terrorist groups. Affandi also said the armed forces preferred to rehabilitate for those found to have leanings  towards Isis. "After that we will find ways to 'fence' them off to stop them. If we can't stop them, then we have to take punitive action," he said. When asked if the armed forces was able to trace Isis followers amongst the military, Affandi said identifying seven showed their system was working. "If there are more, we will find them," he said. Previously, the police had made statements about arrests of military members involved with Isis. According to Corporal Fauzi Abdul Majid from the armed forces' intelligence base, Isis targeted soldiers as recruits because they had knowledge and skills in combat tactics and weaponry. He also said most soldiers who got involved with Isis had disciplinary problems. Affandi, however, denied that the involvement of a few soldiers in Isis had weakened the force. "It does not jeopardise our capabilities, as those involved is a small number but we worry as they are people in uniform," he said. He said the armed forces was also working with the religious department to rehabilitate soldiers with leanings towards Isis struggles. – February 26, 2016.]]>

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