KUALA LUMPUR – The police are trying to find out whether Malaysians, even children, are at new training camps of the Daesh militant group in a northern African country.
Principal assistant director of the Counter Terrorism Division of the Special Branch in Bukit Aman, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, said Malaysian police had learnt that at least 10 camps had been set up in a northern African country to train children to be militants.
“Based on intelligence information, the Daesh militant group has opened new camps there (in northern Africa) in areas under its control. The language of communication at these camps is Arabic,” he told Bernama after participating in the ‘Ruang Bicara’ talkshow on BernamaTV last night.
Ayob Khan said information received indicated that the camps trained children as young as eight as well as those in the 13 to 15 age group.
“So far, the Malaysian police have yet to receive verification on the involvement of Malaysian children at the camps,” he said.
He said children and youths at the camps were trained to fix and strip firearms, shoot and make explosive devices, among others.
The Daesh militants also brainwashed the children and youths into becoming suicide bombers, he said, adding that they figured it was difficult for the security authorities to detect child suicide bombers.
Ayob Khan said that since February 2013, up to 150 individuals, 25 of them women and 21 foreign nationals, had been arrested in the country for militant activities.
Fifty-four of the 150 had been prosecuted for various offences under the Penal Code, Firearms Act, Prevention of Crime Act and Immigration Act, he added.
He also said that 14 Malaysians had been reportedly killed after joining Daesh in Syria.
Six of them were suicide bombers and the eight others were killed in clashes, he added.
“This trend is most worrying. We have not ruled out the possibility that Malaysian students in Egypt cross over to the country in northern Africa during the semester break to join the Daesh militants,” he said. – BERNAMA