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Persecution of Rohingyas makes them vulnerable to being seduced by terrorists, minister warns

Persecution of Rohingyas makes them vulnerable to being seduced by terrorists, minister warns

More than half a million Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since Aug 25, according to the UN. (Photo: AFP/FRED DUFOUR)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has warned that the oppression and displacement of Rohingyas from Myanmar’s Rakhine state could result in them being recruited by terrorists to become suicide bombers.

He likened the Rohingyas' plight to that of Palestinians.

"We are very concerned that these Rohingyas could be manipulated to become suicide bombers or recruited into terrorist cells in this region," Mohamad told the International Association For Counterterrorism and Security Professionals (IACSP) on Monday (Aug 27).

“We see what has happened in Palestine when people were displaced in 1948 when Israel was established. In their desperation to fight back to return home and reclaim their homeland, some of them (Palestinians) became suicide bombers.

“We worry the same can happen in Myanmar where they (Rohingyas) are displaced, possibly ethnically cleansed.”

He said there are over 100,000 Rohingyas in Malaysia.


Malaysian police Special Branch counterterrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Islamic State tried to recruit four Bangladeshis and Rohingyas with the aim of sending them back to Myanmar to wage jihad.

“There is always a possibility that these Rohingya people will be exposed to Salafi jihadi ideology, get recruited and get sent back to Rakhine state to wage this so called jihad war,” said Ayob.

“But we are monitoring this situation very closely. We will take necessary action. We won’t tolerate any attempt by any foreigners to use Malaysia as a base to attack foreign countries.”

Source: CNA/ac(ra)


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