KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia has to date arrested 249 local and foreign individuals suspected of enlisting terrorist recruits via social media, Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said yesterday.
Datuk Masir said 240 of them carried out their modus operandi through Facebook, eight through Twitter and the remaining one through Instagram.
"The arrests were made as a result of police intelligence and monitoring by the Counter Messaging Centre," he told Parliament.
Mr Masir was responding to a question from a Barisan Nasional lawmaker on the government's efforts to curb the spread of terrorism on social media.
He said 3,871 Facebook accounts were monitored, while 800 others had been blocked. On Twitter, 76 individuals were monitored and nine accounts blocked, while 72 individuals are being monitored on Instagram.
He added that 19 individuals, including a foreigner, are undergoing a deradicalisation programme under Malaysia's Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015.
"The deradicalisation is systematically implemented using an integrated deradicalisation module for terrorists covering aspects of religious, civic, psychological, family and moral values," he said.
Number of local and foreign individuals said to have enlisted terrorist recruits via Facebook.
Number of Facebook accounts monitored.
"The success of this programme will soon be seen as the released prisoners will return to the community and no longer be involved in terrorism," he added.
The programme is constantly being reviewed and improved, he said, in cooperation with international anti-terrorism organisations.