IPOH, Malaysia — Daesh militants do not need a base to spread their ideology. The Daesh brand of ideology can rage through the social media with a view to recruit Malaysians.

Bukit Aman Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division principle assistant director Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay warns the threat of terrorism in the country is still serious despite Daesh losing its main ‘government’ in Raqqa, Syria.

The influence of the internet is still widespread as reflected by the arrests of three Daesh members in Kelantan recently.

Although the concept of the caliphate is long gone, Daesh is currently exploiting the social media to recruit, disseminate ideology and incite new members to launch attacks in their respective countries.

As in the recent arrests in Kelantan, the suspects had never come face-to-face or in contact (with Daesh militants) but merely via internet. They were influenced by the Daesh ideology, and then learned to make a bomb through the Daesh website.

“The Daesh ideology is getting more active without the need to go to Syria and without having to recruit people physically any more. We are worried because if we fail to obtain intelligence, we certainly cannot detect and defeat Daesh attacks, he told Bernama when met at the Fourth World Conference On Islamic Thought and Civilisation (WCIT 2017) here yesterday.

Themed ‘Global Peace’, the two-day conference which began yesterday, was organised by Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah, and attended by participants from more than 15 countries.

At a media conference on Oct 17, Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the police had detained three people, including a form six student at a restaurant in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.

They were picked up at 8.17pm on Oct 10 by the Bukit Aman Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division on suspicion of planning to conduct an attack on the 2017 Better Beer Festival, entertainment centres and houses of worships in the Klang Valley, using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) .

Mohamad Fuzi said the suspects were believed to have tested the IED at an open area on Sept 28 and investigations found the explosive had a 30 metre-range.

In this regard, Ayob Khan said WCIT 2017 would explain to society in terms of approach that must be taken to tackle the issue of terrorism which was becoming more worrisome.

In addition, he said the country was now fighting with ideology, not fighting in the physical sense, and if the issue of the Salafi Jihadi ideology of the Daesh could not be tackled, it was feared that more would be influenced.

Indeed, the police can arrest and charge the suspects in court but the main issue is how are we to tackle the spread of the Daesh’s Salafi Jihadi ideology quickly, he said.

In the meantime, Ayob Khan also narrated how he had received a death threat from Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, 27, a Daesh militant member who was killed in a drone attack in May. He said the latest threat he received was during the month of Ramadan before Muslims celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“Members of Daesh in Indonesia instigated those in Malaysia and Indonesia to kill me.

According to them, this policeman (Ayob Khan) has made many arrests of Daesh members in Malaysia, he said, viewing the Daesh threat as part of the challenge in carrying out his duties as a police officer.