The Islamic State is using new ways to radicalise Malaysian youths through Internet and encouraging them to carry out jihad as “lone wolves”, experts have warned. Malaysian IS members are asking their countrymen to fight alongside the dreaded terror group, in the wake of its “recognition” of the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf, as part of the Islamic State “caliphate”, they said.
“Islamic State is now encouraging its supporters to carry out their own jihad in their country without any need for organisation,” Dr Maszlee Malik, political analyst at the International Islamic University Malaysia, was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency. He referred to a chilling 21-minute video uploaded on social media on June 23, calling on Malaysians to join the “Philippines brotherhood” entrusted by IS to lead the “caliphates army”.
Featured in the video was Malaysian Mohd Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Aun al-Malysi, who said “sympathisers who could not go to Mindanao should launch their own jihad on Malaysian soil using whatever means at their disposal.”
In the video Mohd Rafi said, “You have a car, knock them down. You have a weapon or a knife, even a small one, stab them in the chest. Do not be afraid.” What was clear from the video, said Maszlee, was that IS was encouraging a new method of destruction – the lone wolf attack.
“Lone wolf attacks involve self radicalised individuals who are IS sympathisers. They can launch their own attack and consider it a ‘jihad’. This was what happened in Puchong. Rafi Udin’s call was a clear indication that he was giving orders to lone wolves. It was not an organised, well planned attack. A few sympathisers answered the call to launch their own attack,” he said.
On June 28, eight people were injured after a hand grenade exploded at an entertainment centre in the suburb of Puchong in Kuala Lumpur. Police later confirmed that the blast was the work of two IS supporters. Voicing similar concerns, geostrategist Prof Azmi Hassan said IS propaganda was a “first class act” that could win people’s sympathy for the group.
According to Azmi, Abu Sayyaf’s oath of allegiance to IS would make it easier for sympathisers to join the terror, the news agency said. “Instead of travelling to Syria or Iraq, they could go to the southern Philippines and fight alongside Abu Sayyaf. This was a direct pressure on our country because radicalisation could happen among Malaysians,” he warned.