KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Constant monitoring and quick follow-up action are the key criteria to prevent the resurgence of terrorism in South-east Asia, Deputy Commissioner of Police Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said today.
The principal assistant director in the federal Special Branch counter-terrorism division noted that terrorists had taken advantage of the mass exodus of the stateless Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar to infiltrate neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, and set up local cells to further their plots.
“There is always a possibility the ethnic group will be exploited to wage jihad in Myanmar through the Salafi jihadism ideology perpetuated by these terrorist groups.
“We will take the necessary actions and will not tolerate any attempts by anybody or foreigners to use Malaysia as a base of operations,” he said at the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals Asean Counter Terrorism Symposium at the InterContinental Hotel here.
Ayob Khan said Malaysia had thwarted a total of four cases involving the Islamic State (IS) global terror network in Indonesia who were attempting to recruit Bangladeshis and Rohingyas since 2015.
“With the number of Rohingya refugees swelling to about 100,000 in Malaysia, intelligence gathering have been intensified to focus on individuals involved in possible recruitment, financing of terror activities and dissemination of extremist ideologies.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation closely to prevent any possible radicalisation,” he said.
Earlier during the symposium, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu expressed concern that the Rohingya refugee crisis may lead to a new resurgence ground for terrorist groups in the region.
Mohamad said the Rohingyas affected by such crisis were vulnerable to the influence of terrorist groups as they may feel that it is the only solution to fight back and return to their home countries.
He said the Rohingyas could be manipulated to become suicide bombers or recruited into terrorist cells in this region.