Malaysian police arrest 249 suspects for recruiting terrorists through social media

Malaysian police arrest 249 suspects for recruiting terrorists through social media

Brussels is looking for ways to combat online extremism amid growing alarm about the use of sites
File photo of a man typing on a keyboard. (Photo: AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev) 

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 249 Malaysians and foreigners have been arrested so far in Malaysia for allegedly recruiting members for the purpose of terrorism through social media. 

According to Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat on Tuesday (Mar 13), 240 of them carried out their operations through Facebook, eight using Twitter and one through Instagram. 

“The arrests were made as a result of police intelligence and monitoring by the Counter Messaging Centre," he told Parliament.

The centre was set up in 2016 to curb the influence of Islamic State online.

The minister added that the government was also monitoring 3,871 Facebooks accounts, while another 800 accounts have been blocked to curb the spread of extremist ideology on the Internet. 

“On Twitter, 76 individuals were monitored and nine accounts (have been) blocked," he added.

Another 72 people were also being monitored for their activities on Instagram. 

Mr Masir was replying to a supplementary question from MP Shabudin Yahaya on the government’s efforts to curb the spread of terrorism on social media.

He added that there are currently 19 individuals, including a foreigner, detained and undergoing a deradicalisation programme under the Prevention of Terorrism Act 2015 (POTA). 

“The deradicalisation is systematically implemented using an integrated deradicalisation module for terrorists covering aspects of religious, civic, psychology, family and moral values.

“The success of this programme will soon be seen as the released prisoners will return to the community and be no longer involved with terrorism,” he said.

Source: Bernama/ad

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