KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27— Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launched a special task force to combat terror threats in Malaysia, called the National Special Operations Force (NSOF).
According to PM Najib, the task force which will consist of existing personnel from the police, army, navy and maritime agencies will be the first of its kind to act against any threats in the event of an emergency.
“There are seven officers and 170 staff with NSOF who have been training over the past six months to fight terror attacks should any of such hit our country,” he told a press conference after launching NSOF at the Sungai Besi armed force camp.
On the mechanism of its operation, he explained that the police and armed forces will first inform the prime minister of any threats before calling for the deployment of the NSOF.
The role of the NSOF mainly is to eradicate any form of land and water threats; ensure the NSOF members are always prepared to act swiftly; to constantly train officers; prepare contingency plans to face any form of threats; to execute duties as ordered accordingly.
According to a statement by ministry of defence, appointment of new positions into the task force will take effect once the group officially begins operations.
The formation of this task force is in accordance with the country’s National Blue Ocean Strategy 4 — Creating Blue Ocean Strategy in National Security.
Najib added that there is already a special NSOF team in the east of Sabah to tackle terror threats by the Abu Sayyaf militants.
“Because threats by the Abu Sayyaf group are different...more about claiming something.
“So we need to know how to go about such threats as they are slightly different,” he said.
In his speech earlier, Najib said NSOF will challenge personnel from different forces to work together for the safety of the country.
“It is good to see these officers, on loan from their respective forces, working together to combat terrorism and any such threats by training and staying together,” he said.
To date, Najib said 250 Malaysians have been detained for their involvement with the Islamic State (IS).
He added that over 30 have died in Syria while 60 Malaysians are still fighting for terror groups.
“Therefore, NSOF is needed because we cannot be ignorant of our surroundings as even safe countries like the UK and US can be compromised,” he said.