KUALA LUMPUR • The Malay-speaking wing of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has sent a warning to Malaysia for stepping up its campaign against the terror group.
In a strongly defiant video posted in Bahasa Malaysia on an ISIS-sanctioned website, the Malaysian-Indonesian unit of ISIS, called the Katibah Nusantara, threatened revenge for the arrests of its members.
Titled "Mesej Awam Kepada Malaysia" (Public Message for Malaysia), the video warned: "If you catch us, we will only increase in number; but if you let us be, we will be closer to our goal of bringing back the rule of the Khalifah (caliph).
"We will never bow down to the democratic system of governance as we will only follow Allah's rules."
Another video called on Katibah's "brothers" from Somalia's Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with the Al-Qaeda, to join the group in "the real front line in Syria".
In the video, which lasts more than a minute, Katibah member Abdul Halid Dari spoke in Bahasa Malaysia, urging his compatriots from Al-Shabaab to join ISIS and its so-called jihad or holy war.
The Bukit Aman special branch counter-terrorism division head, Datuk Ayob Khan, said the direct challenge to the government reflected Katibah's brazen stance.
"It further proves that (ISIS), especially the Katibah group, views our country as secular, and as such makes the government and the people its targets. This is no doubt in retaliation against our security forces' actions against them," he told The Star.
Since last Friday, Malaysia has arrested seven suspected ISIS militants who were planning attacks on strategic locations in the country.
Mr Ayob said the division would be more vigilant, and that reliable intelligence was the key to prevent attacks.
On the video addressed to the Somalians, Mr Ayob said that although it had subtitles in Arabic, intelligence agencies suspect there are Malaysians in Al-Shabaab as Abdul Halid spoke in Malay.
Katibah is believed to have more than 200 fighters from Malaysia and Indonesia.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK