KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry will filter the Syrian refugees it plans to accept after Friday’s Paris terror attack which killed more than 100 people, its Deputy Minister, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.
He said the measure was deemed necessary particularly following a report that a Syrian refugee was involved in the attack.
“We assume they (Syrian refugees) are not terrorists but we have to filter their background to ensure they pose no threat to the country if we decide to take them in.
“There is always danger when it comes to accepting refugees from the Middle East and that is why we are taking our time to basically filter out who we want to take and preferably those who have clear background,” he told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat lobby, here today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the United Nations General Assembly last month, announced that Malaysia would open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years to help alleviate the refugee crisis.
Elaborating further, Nur Jazlan said the new forms of terrorist attacks tended to be carried out by small groups of between five to 10 individuals.
He said his ministry with the cooperation of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) were constantly monitoring new methods being used to actively recruit members who have the expertise to make firearms and explosives through social media.
“The ministry monitors the movement of suspects who can be placed as terrorists, even though their numbers are not in the thousands, the problem is terrorists like the IS militants can do heavy damage and attacks by using a small number of people.
“What is important, we identify who have the potential to be terrorists and we take action before they make an attack and in our observations, the number (of terrorists in Malaysia) is estimated to reach the hundreds,” he said.
He said Malaysia had the experience in dealing with terrorism since the 1990s with the existence of Al-Maunah and Al-Qaeda.