Malaysia’s first female Islamic State (IS) cell leader has been identified as a Selangor housewife, who had previously been arrested for attacking a Puchong polling center during the 14th General Election in May.
Speaking to daily Utusan Malaysia yesterday, central police Bukit Aman’s Counter Terrorism unit confirmed the news.
The 51-year-old mother of two had been recruiting others, including women, via Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups. Attempting to not arouse the suspicions of authorities, the group was named Kumpulan Makan-Makan Kak Nor (Sister Nor’s Eating Group).
The suspect’s previous run-ins with the law came after police unraveled her plans to run over non-Muslim voters on their way to their polling station, and later to drive a car filled with gas cylinders into non-Muslim places of worship.
Using women as frontline operatives was previously unheard of in Malaysia; their role was often left to financially supporting their husbands who had joined IS.
Officials added that while they knew women were now being called on as soldiers in neighboring Indonesia, they would now be continuously monitoring the situation here at home.
Forty-three women have been arrested since 2012 under suspicions of supporting, or being involved in, IS activities.
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