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Friday, March 4, 2016

Sulu militants, not IS, the main threat to Malaysia, says lecturer

Sulu militants are the foremost threat to Malaysia and not the Islamic State (IS), or Daesh, says International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer Maszlee Malik.

While disputing the assertion of the authorities that Daesh was the biggest threat to Malaysia, he acknowledged that the group could also be a threat.

“Daesh is a threat, but the threat is not as real because it does not possess al-Qaeda’s capabilities.”

He said al-Qaeda militants were properly trained while IS militants in Malaysia had limited training and little avenue for doing so, and only copied what they learnt on social media.

“Malaysia is not the main target of IS. The group does want to carry out attacks in Southeast Asia and is not targeting Malaysia as we are only considered a transit point,” he said at a forum on IS, Islam and Global Extremism at the Bangsar Utama Club last night.

Maszlee said Malaysia’s security forces should focus on Sulu militants led by Abu Sayyaf and also control the IS threat at the same time.

“Abu Sayyaf has already pledged its allegiance to IS. It is like a branch that has been recognised by IS.

“That is why Indonesian militant groups are angry as they existed first. This is why in the Jakarta bombings, Indonesia had a theory that the bombings came from within as Indonesian militants were competing with one another to prove they had more experience over the others in carrying out terror attacks.

“Both Indonesian and Filipino militants want more funds from outside their borders so there is a possibility they are competing to see who is better,” he said in reference to the Jakarta bombings on Jan 14, 2016.

By Faiz Zainudin

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