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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said Malaysia should focus on the potential return of defeated Islamic State (IS) fighters instead of being distracted with the “revival” of the defunct Sri Lankan terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
In a press statement today, the Iskandar Puteri MP cited experts who predicted that South-east Asia could be the newest breeding ground for the IS.
“Worldwide, attention is focusing on what is going to happen in the Syrian prisons since the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate collapsed earlier this year.
“The Syrian jails are packed with about 12,000 jihadist fighters, with about 65 from Malaysia and ‘several hundred’ from Indonesia, which do not include their displaced wives and children.
“Will these jihadists return home undetected and will they recruit new members and launch attacks?” questioned Lim.
The study had observed that since last year, foreign jihadists have been flocking to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia due to the countries “growing reputation” as fronts for global jihad, especially since travel to Iraq and Syria was increasingly difficult.
Lim pointed out that the pro-IS attacks in the region were episodic and uncoordinated, evidence that the terrorist group has moved toward a decentralised, global insurgency model instead of creating a new nation.