Malaysia militant groups eye school children

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian militant groups are aggressively targetting school children through social media, Bernama news agency has reported.

Counter terrorism senior police officer Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said they have identified an individual who is actively recruiting young people using Facebook as they are easily misled.

"The trend to recruit youngsters between the ages of 15 and 30 through Facebook is worrying.

"Besides schoolchildren, students of private and public higher learning institutions with family and educational problems, government and private sector employees as well as businessmen are being coaxed to join militant groups," he told Bernama on Monday.

Officer Ayob said religious authorities should take proactive measures to counter propaganda from the militants.

He added that parents and teachers should inform the police should they come across anyone with extremist tendencies.

The three militant groups in Syria with Malaysian links are the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Al-Nusra Front and Ajnad Al Sham.

So far, 22 Malaysians including three women were involved with militant groups in Syria and 23 others have been detained in the country for alleged links with these groups, Bernama said.