KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia (The Star/ ANN) - Some 50 Malaysians who joined the Islamic State in Syria are planning to return home, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.
He said eight of the militants had returned to Malaysia and 49 more are making plans to find a way home.
“Some of them, whose husbands have been killed, married other IS militants. Their children are under the care of other militant families,” he told students at a forum in Universiti Malaysia Sabah on Monday.
He said IS militants and other groups like Al Islamiah are spreading their ideology and teachings through social media.
Khalid said the groups are also using Sabah as a transit point to move to neighbouring countries.
Students should be cautious in accepting the religious views expressed on social media and also when approached by such groups, he added.
Khalid also said that police have recommended that the Sabah religious authorities ban deviationist groups, such as Indonesia-based Milah Abraham, from spreading their teachings in Sabah and Sarawak.
On the case of former Universiti Malaya student Siti Nor Aishah Atam, who was rearrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act last month, Khalid said she is still deemed a threat and she has been in constant contact with IS militants.
“She intended to go to Syria. Although many people claim she is innocent, we have done our investigations,” he added.
He said Siti Nor Aishah had tried to contact an IS leader in Syria and attempted to make a false MyKad for her to travel with a passport to Syria.
The 29-year-old was a student of Universiti Malaya lecturer-turned-militant Dr Mahmud Ahmad, who fled with four others to the southern Philippines because they were wanted by police for IS militant activities.
Siti Nor Aishah was first arrested in March last year for possession of 12 books related to terrorism and was cleared of the charges, but was rearrested.