A 14-year-old Malaysian girl suspected to be on her way to join the dreaded Islamic State terror group has been arrested at an airport here.
The girl, who is from Muar in southern Malaysia, was arrested by the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division before she could board a Cairo-bound flight at KL International Airport on Tuesday.
The girl was planning to marry a 22-year-old Malaysian student in Cairo and both of them were to go to Istanbul before securing passage to Syria to join the IS, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said.
“We discovered that she had been in contact with two Malaysian militants based in Syria. We will investigate further to uncover the mastermind behind the recruitment of Malaysian girls for the IS,” he said in a statement yesterday.
“We will not allow Malaysia to be used as a training ground or hideout for terrorists and militants. Anyone in support or in league with any terrorist will be detained,” the top cop said, adding that the girl was arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
Intelligence sources said the girl’s would-be husband is a student at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University.
It is learnt that the girl had attempted to go to Cairo without her family’s consent. She had even threatened to kill herself if her parents did not let her go.
“The girl was hard-headed when interrogated by police officers,” a source told local dailies here.
The latest arrest brings the number of people linked to terrorism arrested in muslim-majority Malaysia to 68 since February 2013.
Among those arrested were navy and air force personnel and civil servants, including an Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry officer.
Sources said the trend of Malaysians joining the IS is continuing despite the arrests.
Last month, a young Malaysian couple, with their infant son, managed to elude the authorities to go to Syria to join the terror group.
“They went to Bangkok before taking a flight to Istanbul. They then entered Syria via a land route,” a source said.
It is believed that the family went to Syria late last month.