ISIS launch Malay-language newspaper to recruit militants from Southeast Asia — Singapore included

The threat of the Islamic State is closer than before with the launch of a new publication that aims to recruit militants from Southeast Asia into their twisted cause.

They’ve reportedly launched a Malay-language propaganda newspaper, soon after the first ever attack on Malaysian soil.

Berita Harian reports that Al-Fatihin (‘The Conquerors’ in Arabic) was launched on June 20 in Southern Philippines and is being distributed to supporters and sympathisers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and southern Thailand.

The daily quoted a source as saying the publication could be deemed an ‘unofficial warning’ to the Malay archipelago.

“This psychological campaign means that the terrorists have a big objective, which is to expand their influence among people who understand the Malay language,” the Malay-language daily quoted the source as saying, as reported by the Malay Mail Online.

“Based on the way the language is used, we believe the writer or editor of the paper may be from this country,” the source was quoted further. 

According to a paper by the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, last month, its first publication was a 20-page edition that focused heavily on the significance of Ramadan, jihad and the rituals of fasting.

“In fact, the first three pages contain advice from the Egyptian ideologue Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir, aka Abu Ayyub al-Masri, calling on IS fighters to continue their jihadist activities, search for martyrdom and kill and crucify the polytheists, disbelievers, oppressors and transgressors,” the paper stated.

Al-Fatihin’s tagline drives the point that, no matter the differences and nuances in language, identity and origins, Southeast Asian jihadists have a common logos and as such, all Malay-speaking jihadists should act as one,” it added.

Ironically, it was during the holy month of Ramadan that IS escalated their boundaries of violence. In the final days of Ramadan, just before Eid, they launched attacks in Saudi Arabia — even daring to assault Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Islam’s second-most holiest site. 

With text by Coconuts KL

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