From Janitors To Suicide Bombers: How ISIS Is Turning Young Malaysians Into Extremists

Malaysians are quickly moving up the ranks in the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation since they actively started joining last year.

Cover image via Daily Mail

More than a year after ISIS was popularised among Malaysians, reports have surfaced on how Malaysians have been upgraded from just being cleaners at the camps to assisting with terrorist missions

Image via ABC News

Previously cleaners and guards at the camps, Malaysians who fell for the IS’ promise of a false “jihad” are now being trained to become ­snipers and suicide bombers with the specific goal of regaining its grip on Iraq.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayub Khan said the terror group now counted on some Malaysians to carry out its special ops missions all over Iraq.

SAC Ayub said the Malaysian ­militants were plucked from the Khatibah Nusantara cell in Syria to join the special ops squads.

“The Khatibah Nusantara consists of Malaysian and Indonesian IS fighters. They band together as their language and interests are similar,” he said.

The Malaysian intelligence agency first found out about this sudden elevation for Malaysian ISIS members within the organisation, after three Malaysians died while executing different missions to take down Iraqi officials

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division Head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayub Khan

Image via Malay Mail Online

One of them was Zid Saharani Mohamed Esa, 43, who died in a clash with Iraqi forces in Bayji, Iraq, on Aug 29.

“We believe he was one of the snipers assigned to take out targets at a Iraqi government structure in Bayji," said Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayub Khan.

SAC Ayub said the two others killed were Muhamad Syazani Mohd Salim, 28, and Fadzly Ariff Zainal Ariff, 31.

Muhamad Syazani, known as Abu Aydan, was also killed in Bayji in a skirmish with Iraqi forces on Sept 18 and was believed to be part of an IS infantry trained to fulfil a specific mission objective.

Fadzly Ariff Zainal Ariff died on Sept 26 after driving a truck filled with seven tonnes of explosives towards a bridge in Buhayrat, ­located in Fallujah.

The attack also killed a group of Iraqi soldiers.

One of the terrorists that died during his suicide mission, Zid Saharani Mohamed Esa, was previously arrested under ISA (Internal Security Act) for being involved with Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia back in 2002

Muhamad Syazani Mohd Salim, 28 was previously a burger seller before he ventured into terrorism.

Image via The Star

While 69 is the official number of Malaysians involved with ISIS in Syria, SAC Ayub thinks the number could reach up to almost 100 Malaysians, including children.

He was referring to the sudden boom in young couples leaving Malaysia for Syria, claiming that Malaysia isn't Islamic enough

Image via New York Post

Police have observed a recent trend among Malaysians joining the terror group the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (Isis): they are young families willing to give up everything here for a life under a caliphate because they think Malaysia is not Islamic enough, a senior counter-terrorism official said.

Revealing that the police have arrested 75 people suspected of having links to Isis, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said those who were attracted to the group were obsessed with the organisation and its leaders.

"Research from our police and Interpol found that they joined the group not because of ideology but because of obsession," he told Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad (BN-Kuala Kangsar) during Question Time in Parliament today.

Meanwhile, with the number of Malaysians getting involved in ISIS increasing, the police, earlier this month, arrested a number of armed forces officers that were accused of being involved with the terrorist group

Image via News Week

Several armed forces personnel, including two commandos, appeared in various courts around Malaysia yesterday in connection with activities related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, according to Bernama news agency.

In other cases, a soldier and a member of the Royal Malaysian Navy were also charged separately with possessing mobile phones containing the symbol of the terror group.

Another soldier, Private Mohammad Rosdan Mohammad Khir, 24, pleaded guilty in a magistrate's court in Gerik, Perak, to possession of printed materials on ISIS.

About a month before the armed forces officers were arrested, the police also picked up 10 Malaysians that were allegedly planning a terrorist attack on Malaysia

One of the 10 Malaysians who were arrested for allegedly having connection with ISIS

Image via Straits Times

Malaysia’s national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said late on Thursday that the 10 individuals were allegedly “planning to obtain weapons to launch attacks in the country and arrange logistics for Malaysians to join the IS in Syria”.

Among the 10 were a kindergarten teacher, a former interior designer and two civil servants. The remaining six suspects were members of state security forces, police said.

Over the past year, police have arrested numerous suspects whom they say were IS sympathisers plotting such attacks.

However, opposition lawmakers say authorities have been reluctant to share information regarding the arrests or provide details about potential terror threats.

Senior counter-terrorism official Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said in June that authorities had so far arrested 108 people who had suspected links to IS or were trying to travel to Syria or Iraq.

Malaysian men aren't the only ones enthusiastic about joining ISIS. Last year, a number of Malaysian women, allegedly joined ISIS to provide sexual favours to boost the motivation of ISIS soldiers.

Malaysian women are being lured to provide sexual favours to the ISIS soldiers.

Image via English Alarabiya

Jihad Al-Nikah refers to a controversial concept where Sunni women allegedly offer themselves in sexual comfort roles to fighters for the establishment of Islamic rule.

"These women are believed to have offered themselves in sexual comfort roles to Isis fighters who are attempting to establish Islamic rule in the Middle East. "This concept may seem controversial but it has arisen as certain Muslim women here are showing sympathy for the Isis struggle," an intelligence official told The Malaysian Insider.

The intelligence official said ISIS had issued a decree or edict in June this year ordering for the conscription of Jihad Al-Nikah or sexual jihad.

In the midst of women offering sexual favours to ISIS soldiers, one, claiming to be a Malaysian doctor married to an ISIS member, decided to go public about her happy experiences of being a 'Muhajirah' on social networking sites:

This violent terrorist group garnered international attention in 2014 after it forcefully acquired major parts of Syria and Iraq, declaring them as 'caliphate' states

ISIS members

Image via The Caupanther

Caliphate refers to a place that is ruled over by a religious Muslim leader under strict Islamic laws.

It has demanded that Muslims across the world swear allegiance to its leader, Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and migrate to territory under its control.

IS has also told other jihadist groups worldwide that they must accept its supreme authority. Many already have, among them several offshoots of the rival al-Qaeda network.

IS seeks to eradicate obstacles to restoring God's rule on Earth and to defend the Muslim community, or umma, against infidels and apostates.

Ever since ISIS sprouted last year, Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed nothing but utter contempt over the terrorist group's ideologies and cruel acts.

Prime Minister Najib Razak thinks ISIS, despite its ultra-Islamic ideologies, does not represent Islam.

Image via South China Morning Post

Malaysia stands firmly together with the international community against the terror organisation Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as it does not do justice to Islam.

"We will work together with the large community as ISIS does not represent Islam. Isis is a misnomer. It does not do justice to Islam," PM Najib Razak said at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot at the Bangunan Perdana Putra here, Saturday, 6 September 2014.

"I want to thank Prime Minister Najib for his strong stand (against ISIS) ... as he said ISIS was against God, against Islam and against (the) common community," he (Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot) said.

Putrajaya considers ISIS as a terrorist organisation.

More than a year later, with more Malaysians having joined ISIS, PM Najib Razak when speaking at the World Leaders Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, said the Internet would be the best way to counter the pro-IS messages circulating online

Prime Minister Najib Razak is in America on a official trip to attend the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly along with other international conferences.

Image via Finance Twitter

The fight against violent extremist group Islamic State (IS) with its “insidious lies” and false narrative must be taken online, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

With their highly effective approach to communications and messaging, these so-called online terrorists had been inspiring too many of the impressionable, the vulnerable and the excluded to sign up, he added.

“We must address this and efforts are under way. I am pleased to say that Malaysia is actively exploring the possibility of establishing a Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Communications Centre.

“With support, the centre’s work could be an effective region-wide effort to amplify anti-IS messaging,” he added.

The Malaysian government, in its efforts to eradicate all traces of ISIS from the country, announced that Malaysia will be hosting a de-radicalisation workshop in January 2016

Deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

Image via The Malaysian Insider

Malaysia will host an international ‘deradicalisation’ workshop in January next year, as part of joint anti-terrorism efforts with Indonesia and other countries, the Home Ministry said today.

In a statement, the ministry said the workshop was aimed at establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for combating radicalisation.

“The United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, will be among the other countries participating,” the ministry said.

The ISIS, in the past year, has managed to penetrate deep into the layers of society. Even children were not spared, watch how one Kazakhstan child soldier brutally executes two Russian spies here:

While reports of Malaysian women eager to provide sexual favours to ISIS soldiers have been circulating, read about the real fate of women in the Islamic State:

You may be interested in: