Minister warns of ISIS influence in East Malaysia

September 24, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia – Malaysian officials are concerned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could spread to Sabah and Sarawak, now that militant groups in the southern Philippines have pledged allegiance to it, local media reported Monday (September 22nd).

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Abu Sayyaf rebels have declared support for ISIS, and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) wants to see an Islamic caliphate in the southern Philippines, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesia , Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a press conference here, according to the New Sabah Times.

"So I am concerned over the security threats looming in Sabah and Sarawak because of what is happening in the world today involving the Islamic militants, particularly IS, and what happened in Iraq and Syria," he said.

In July, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon posted a six-minute video evidently shot in the southern Philippines, declaring allegiance to ISIS .

The video gained momentum on social media and in the past month after being watched on pro-ISIS and jihadist websites in Bahasa Malaysia, prompted officials to issue a security red alert in Sabah, The Star Online reported.

"We are keeping close tabs on the development of such radical groups in neighbouring countries. We will step up security along our borders to prevent any of these elements from slipping in," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told The Star.

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) does not represent Muslims.

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