Many civil servants believed to be involved in ISIS operations in Malaysia: Sources

Many civil servants, including armed forces personnel, scholars from local universities and those from government departments and agencies, are believed to be involved in the operations in Malaysia of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). -- PH
Many civil servants, including armed forces personnel, scholars from local universities and those from government departments and agencies, are believed to be involved in the operations in Malaysia of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). -- PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Many civil servants, including armed forces personnel, scholars from local universities and those from government departments and agencies, are believed to be involved in the operations in Malaysia of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

A source described the involvement of the civil servants as "serious", saying that the police were on their trail.

Since April this year, at least 10 civil servants have been detected to be directly or indirectly involved with the activities of the terror group, especially in terms of funding and recruitment among Malaysians.

"The number of civil servants who are sympathetic to the militant cause is baffling," the source said.

One of the most high-profile civil servants detained this year was a 37-year-old Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry senior assistant director.

Arrested on suspicion of recruiting members into the ISIS, he had been away from work for almost a year, supposedly to take care of his mother.

However, the police believed that he had been in southern Philippines meeting up with Malaysian militants on the run, including former Universiti Malaya lecturer Mahmud Ahmad (also known as Abu Handzalah) and sundry shop owner Mohd Najib Husen, both 36.

They are believed to be leaders of a local militant group that trains members to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The third man is former Selayang Municipal Council employee Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, 39, also known as Abu Nur.

Earlier this year, two Royal Malaysian Navy personnel were also detained. On Nov 28, two low-ranking civil servants were arrested.

They were suspected of funding Malaysians to head to Syria since the middle of this year.

Sources said the two men, aged 23 and 28, had been setting aside a portion of their monthly salary for the ISIS cause.

They were arrested at their homes in Kuala Lumpur by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division on Nov 28.