KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 ― The police have revealed that 57 of Malaysians who had joined jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria have been trying to return home due to various pressures such as economic difficulties.
Bukit Aman’s Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division’s principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin said police had received information that many militants ― including those from Malaysia ― were seeking to leave Syria and to send their families off from the area.
“Many do not know that going to Syria is not only to engage in battles but they also have to work to get their own income.
“Although they are with Daesh, they also have to work to get money to provide for their families and to survive there. But the job opportunities there are very limited,” he was quoted telling local daily Berita Harian, using the Arabic name for IS.
He said that Malaysians who in the past were able to earn RM890 per month there can now only earn around RM220 each month, adding that this has forced the militants there to ask for money from other Malaysians to be spent on food and Internet connection.
Berita Harian said it had last Monday reported that several Malaysian militants in Syria were allegedly gambling online for the claimed purpose of getting more funds to smuggle in more Malaysians there.