Daesh (IS) is a new phenomenon, says Hishammuddin

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PUTRAJAYA: The worldwide threat posed by the Daesh (Islamic State) militant group is a new phenomenon, according to Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

He described the threat as different from others that Malaysia had previously faced.

“We are already familiar with the Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, Nordin Mat or Top Mat Selamat threat. But Daesh is different from the threats we have faced before.

“Daesh spreads through social media and the Internet while Al Qaeda did not use technology,” he told reporters when met at the Hari Raya Open House hosted by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers at Kompleks Seri Perdana here today.

Given that Daesh uses social media and has an international network, Hishammuddin said it was imperative for Malaysia to exchange views and information with the intelligence organisations of Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.

“Attacks at hotspots cannot be taken lightly,” he said, adding that the authorities were still investigating the bomb blast at Puchong.

Without elaborating, he said, “I am very concerned if the latest incident has a link with Daesh. We have to study whether what happened in Puchong was a lone attack or has links with other cells.

“If they are cells, are they linked to any foreign cells. That is something we should not be sharing too much with the public,” he said.

To another question, Hishammuddin dismissed the notion that the incident at the Movida Bar and Lounge was a response from Daesh terrorists to a challenge issued by Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

“I don’t think so. It has nothing to do with any challenge. People who plan to do something will not be afraid of anyone and are bent on carrying it (the attack) out,” he said.

BERNAMA