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New terrorist organisations aiming for regional Caliphate

KUALA LUMPUR — Four new terrorist organisations aiming to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the region — called Daulah Islamiah Nusantara and comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and southern Philippines — have emerged and are embarking on an aggressive recruitment drive, the New Straits Times (NST) reported yesterday.

The Malaysian who killed 25 Iraqi soldiers in a suicide attack in Baghdad on May 26 was a member of one of the new terrorist groups aiming to establish a regional Caliphate. PHOTO: AP

The Malaysian who killed 25 Iraqi soldiers in a suicide attack in Baghdad on May 26 was a member of one of the new terrorist groups aiming to establish a regional Caliphate. PHOTO: AP

KUALA LUMPUR — Four new terrorist organisations aiming to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the region — called Daulah Islamiah Nusantara and comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and southern Philippines — have emerged and are embarking on an aggressive recruitment drive, the New Straits Times (NST) reported yesterday.

The four groups, which NST did not name under an understanding with its intelligence sources, are permutations of earlier terror cells such as Jemaah Islamiah and Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia.

They reject the democratic system adopted by nations in the region and are believed to be operating out of Malaysian states such as Perak and Selangor, the newspaper reported.

The announcement comes less than a decade after several regional terror groups with the same aim of establishing a Caliphate in the region were broken up and their leaders arrested.

Based on information from its sources, NST reported that the four groups, although independent of each other, subscribe to the same Salafi Jihadi ideology, similar to that of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Leaders and senior members of the new groups had also established links with similar groups in the region, as well as with ISIS and the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf.

Besides the four new groups, police are also monitoring a terror organisation in Sabah called Darul Islam Sabah.

NST reported that members of these terrorist organisations have gone through training, including producing their own weapons and explosives.

The newspaper said its sources believe the experience gained by Malaysian militants in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq could be put to use by the organisations.

The groups also have a strong financial backing from Malaysian businessmen and professionals. To ensure their operations are not disrupted, members are constantly warned of the death punishment for betrayal.

Prior to the groups’ sending of members to Syria, recruits would be sent for training in southern Thailand and with the Abu Sayyaf group, where they are taught urban warfare, hand-to-hand combat, setting up booby traps and constructing improvised explosive devices, among others.

At least one of the groups recruited members through Facebook, targeting youths, NST reported.

The Malaysian linked to ISIS who killed 25 Iraqi soldiers in a suicide attack on May 26, Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki, 26, was a member of one of the new terrorist groups.

Another group, which is only a year old, is purportedly led by a respectable academic. AGENCIES

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