Cops powerless to act on Malaysian militants abroad, says home minister
PUTRAJAYA, June 27 — The police cannot be blamed for Malaysians involved in militant activities outside the country, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today, amid growing unease over home-grown militancy.
As concerns rise over the recruitment of Malaysians in conflict zones overseas, Zahid said the police were also powerless to prevent Malaysians from travelling abroad to engage in militant activities.
“Even if we monitor them, they are overseas… they are conducting the activities and are trained abroad, it is not the responsibility of the police,” he told reporters here
“The police can’t stop them if they have been given travelling visas to those countries,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 15 Malaysians might have been killed in Syria after joining terrorist and jihadist activities with Islamist militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), citing a June 18 news conference by the Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations in New York.
ISIL is a splinter group of al-Qaeda that wants to set up an Islamic caliphate encompassing both Iraq and Syria.
The home minister said the police are currently monitoring the group’s online activities but did not state if the police have identified potential militants, or planned to make any arrest.
He also stressed that that the best method to curb Malaysian involvement in terror or militant activities was not through stricter laws but through social education instead.
“What is important are not the laws as they can be applied when they are arrested.
“It is more important that this culture of terrorism is not planted in those with fanatical tendencies,” he said, adding that this was the duty of society, NGOs and family members.