Special Branch Warning on ISIS-like Threat in Malaysia

A few days ago, the Malaysia Special Branch gave a public warning on the real and serious threat of ISIS affecting Malaysia anticipated to be done by Malaysian Muslims who were recruited to fight in ISIS against other Malaysians. Malaysia is a country who will not simply give any such warnings because such news may cause upheaval if wrongly understood.

What the Special Branch said in a carefully worded interview is a wakeup call for all Malaysians who see ISIS as a threat to our way of life in this beloved country. The analysis is that this threat is so serious now that the Police has no choice but to warn the people ahead of time because if this threat is allowed to be made real, it will be an overthrow of our Government and the people who do not subscribe to their advances.

The article was carried by The Sun Daily here.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayob Khan reminds non-Muslims to take the threats posted by Islamic State (IS) seriously as IS followers have been imbued with the idea that their main enemies are non-Muslims, followed by Muslims who do not agree with their doctrines.

In an interview with Oriental Daily News published today, Ayob said Chinese or Indians in Malaysia should not ignore what is happening in Syria, thinking IS concerns only Muslims and has nothing to do with them.

He said based on intelligence that he obtained, IS is strengthening and recruiting Malaysians who will be brought to Syria to be trained to fight as jihadists there before they are sent back to Malaysia to fight against the government by way of a “jihad”.

He said jihadists who return from Syria are extreme in their thinking, with no tolerance for differing ideologies and will get rid of non-Muslims including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, regardless whether they are Chinese or Indians.

Not only that, they will also kill moderate Muslims who do not agree with what they do, said Ayob.

However, what Ayob did not come out to say clearly is more crucial for Malaysians to take note. He is not saying why ISIS is successful in recruiting Malaysians to fight in Syria as jihadists. Malaysians who are muslims have always been living in peace with Malaysians of other faiths although some of them have occasionally expressed regret to a pluralistic position of the Government that Islam is not pluralistic. This is true for most faiths as a position but not as a religious mandate to remove all contrary to their own.

Note that Ayob says a lot about these pro-ISIS jihadists who are Malaysians, that

  • their main enemies are non-Muslims in Malaysia, 

  • they are extreme in their thinking, 

  • have no tolerance for differing ideologies and 

  • will get rid of non-Muslims as well as “moderate” Muslims in Malaysia who do not agree with what they do. 

For your information, this is probably a good 99% or more of all Malaysians who are targets of these ISIS supporters. And looking at what has happened in Iraq, they being a minority has successfully terrorized and overcame the majority, even with US-led forces bombing their positions. Ayob forgot to elaborate that these jihadists from Malaysia attempting to fight against the Government is actually fighting against the people of Malaysia, us Malaysians.

Malaysians are abhorred that those living next to us have enlisted to join ISIS and some have actually made their way to Syria and Iraq. How many more of these Malaysians are there? We can only know that there are many more such sympathizers and conformers of ISIS jihad position that they believe they are doing the right thing in their own faith and mind. And when it comes to a belief, it can become emotional.

Take to heart and be well aware of what Ayob has warned. He must have the real basis to say such things given the intelligence they have gathered and also the urgency and seriousness of the matter. He may not have the authorization to say these things to all Malaysians which explains why strangely this news is not carried by other major news networks like The Star or New Straits Times or Utusan Malaysia. His words were carefully selected not to say too much and not to imply anymore than what he warned.

An online news portal, The Malaysian Insider, carried a parallel news report here. In this report, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), raised doubts if this threat can actually be carried out given the laws of the country are in place to protect its citizens. He says that anyone can talk and that talk is cheap, brushing off the warning Ayob Khan made. Ayob may have obtained counter terrorist intelligence largely from the recent arrests made in Malaysia on ISIS supporters.

The IGP was commenting on the warning issued by Federal Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division principal assistant director, Datuk Ayob Khan, urging non-Muslims to be on alert.

Ayob said in an interview with Chinese-language Oriental Daily that the militants who were detained and interrogated by authorities told police that they were on a mission to “wipe out” the non-Muslims in the country.

“Based on information we gathered from a few arrests we made earlier, we learned that these militants have been brainwashed to accept the (extremist) approach. That is very worrying,” Ayob told the vernacular daily.

The Bukit Aman senior official said that based on the intelligence gathered, ISIS has been on a recruiting drive in Malaysia and training them in Syria to return home to launch a “jihad” against non-Muslims and even Muslims who were considered liberal.

Who are we to believe? The IGP or the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director? This matter is not trivial and will affect Malaysian lives as we know it. Why does the IGP attempt to brush off such a serious matter? Did he imply that Ayob did not know what he is talking about? How can we depend on the Police to defend Malaysia from such threats if the IGP brushes off serious warnings by his Counter Terrorism assistant director who obviously feels strongly enough to warn Malaysians?

It is best to learn more why there are such Malaysians who wants to exterminate all those of us who do not support them and ISIS, both Muslims and otherwise. We cannot tolerate their existence in our country who threaten not only our way of life but our very lives itself. We cannot give place to them at all.

It will do well to also read what Ayob Khan said earlier regarding the arrests made of ISIS supporters in KL whom he says wanted to form a Caliphate across South East Asia (The Straits Times, CNN) and are totally intolerant of non-Muslims who will not convert as well as Muslims who do not agree with them.

“The ideology is the same whether it is Al-Qaeda, (South-east Asia’s) Jemaah Islamiah, or even (Nigeria’s) Boko Haram: Even though we are both Muslims, if you don’t support my ideology, I can kill you,” Datuk Ayob Khan told The Straits Times.

To all Malaysians, strive to learn why ISIS and some Malaysians who support them take this intolerant position. Knowledge will keep us all alive and that knowledge will show us how to survive. Together we can defend our beloved country.

Remember, it is knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge!

“If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” – Sir Karl Raimund Popper


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