KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman has identified more than 500 Facebook accounts which are being used to recruit or entice Malaysians to join the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
Federal Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said that the profiles, which were still active at press time, belonged to Malaysians.
He said the accounts bore a message that painted IS as “peaceful under the rule of caliphate Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi” and some had bought into the propaganda.
“There is a Malaysian who warned his family that if they worked with the Government or stopped him from joining the IS, he would return and would, if he had the chance, kill them,” he revealed.
Despite numerous crackdowns and exposés by the authorities and media, there was still no sign that the number of recruitments were diminishing, added SAC Ayob.
“In the first half of last year, we identified 30 Malaysians who went to Syria to join IS.
“The number rose to 61, which included a 14-year-old boy who went with his parents, by the end of the year.
“The tactic has changed, they are now recruiting the whole family. It is really worrying.”
SAC Ayob disclosed that authorities had frozen the assets of 39 suspects and that of 18 groups linked to terrorism, including Jemaah Islamiah, under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
SAC Ayob said 44 vehicles belonging to them had been blacklisted and police were in discussions with the Immigration Department to revoke the passports of anyone linked to a terror group.
A check by The Star showed that the Facebook page of a Malaysian man who was identified in the IS beheading video is no longer accessible.
It is unclear what happened to the account of Abu Hamzah Al Fateh owned by Muhamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, 25, from Durian Tunggal, Malacca.
The account could have been removed by Facebook or disabled by Wanndy himself.
Wanndy along with Mohd Faris Anuar, 20, from Gurun, Kedah, were identified in a 30-second video clip showing a man in a black-and-gray striped shirt sprawled on the ground with his head severed.
It was uploaded on the Facebook account on Feb 22 and was ap-parently meant as a “lesson” to spies who purportedly betrayed Islam.