Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said they noticed a rising trend in women getting involved in Islamic State terrorist activities, including becoming suicide bombers.
He said it reached a worrying level in South-East Asia.
“We are very concerned about the rise in the number of women becoming suicide bombers,” he said at a press conference during the Security Awareness Seminar: Addressing Daesh Threats, Islamic State (IS) and Misleading Teachings in Pendang district police headquarters yesterday.
“The Jolo church bombing in southern Philippines in January involved a woman. The Surabaya attack was also carried out by a woman who brought along her family members while taking part in suicide bombing.
“It is a new trend in the South-East Asian region where women are being used as suicide bombers.
“From January this year alone, we have arrested more than 30 IS militants, including women,” he said, adding that a female IS militant was arrested in Serian, Sarawak.
The Jolo church bombing in January killed more than 20 people and wounded over 100.
Filipino police revealed that a husband and wife were the suicide bombers in the attack.
In May last year, a mother of six took part in a series of church bombings in Surabaya, Indonesia, that killed 13 and injured 41. Her children took part in making the bombs.
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