Extremists trying to recruit from schools: Malaysia

Last Updated: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 14:48

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has said that Islamic, Tamil and Sikh militant groups were seeking to recruit from schools and universities in the country, but intelligence agencies were keeping a close watch on such activities.

Expressing concern that students were being exposed to militant ideology, the nation`s Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the militant groups active in the country included Islamist extremist, Tamil and Sikh separatists.

But Hussein said there was no "immediate threat" that these leanings could lead to terrorism.

"The situation is very much under control and a close watch is being kept on these activities," he said.

The minister said that people of extremist ideology were not confined to the campuses but also were present within the society, Star newspaper said today.

"Nevertheless, we do not take things for granted. Our intelligence personnel are constantly monitoring and conducting surveillance on these groups and their activities.”

"If they are found to pose a threat to national security, we will not hesitate to take action as had been done in several instances," he said after receiving International Organisation of Migration (IOM) director-general William Lacy Swing at his office here yesterday.

Hishammuddin said the authorities had made several arrests of locals and foreigners who are members of militant groups.

The paper said he declined to give details. Hishammuddin said Malaysia`s intelligence agency was working closely with its regional and international counterparts, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States as well as intelligence outfits in Britain, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

Another daily, the New Straits Times, quoted the minister as saying that though the situation was under control and did not affect the country`s security nor pose an immediate threat, "we cannot be nonchalant about it”.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 14:48

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