Seven common traits of local IS members

PETALING JAYA: People who are sympathisers and members of the local Islamic State (IS) terror group have seven common traits that put them apart from the rest of the crowd.

“They believe in sacrificing themselves over a cause. How many of you are willing to sacrifice yourself?,” asked International Islamic University lecturer Ahmad El Muhammady during a forum today.

The political scientist who is a panel member of the police force’s special rehabilitation programme for terrorist detainees also revealed that most Malaysians who joined IS lacked Islamic knowledge.

“Only Lutfi Ariffin is a scholar. I don’t know why he joined,” he said, referring to Kedah PAS Youth leader who was killed in Syria.

He said this during a forum entitled ‘The Islamic State in Malaysia: Implications for National Security’ that was organised by the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia in Sunway University.

He also said that given their lack of knowledge, they tend to misinterpret verses of the Quran without understanding the whole context of a particular verse.

IS members are also easily exploitable, very sincere, fanatics, highly motivated and one track minded.

On another matter, Ahmad said that the rehabilitation programme conducted by the police force was successful.

“For the period of 2001 to 2012, the police achieved 96% success rate. We have the lowest recidivism rate.

“Only six people returned to the group,” he said.

When asked on methods to identify people with IS affiliation or sympathisers during recruitment, he replied with these questions:

“Ask them about race relations. The trigger word would be “Muslim supremacy”.

“Ask them about the government. They would say that the government is “secular and corrupt”.

He also said that their views of the IS should be asked, preferably by a Muslim.

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