IGP: No regrets over ‘come back if you dare’ statement

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PETALING JAYA: Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar does not regret having told Malaysians who are Islamic State (IS) militants overseas to “come back if you dare”, saying it was not meant as a challenge to the terrorist group.

Khalid defended the statement made shortly before the Puchong bombing, saying the police did not take it upon themselves to challenge anyone.

“”No, I don’t regret that. Why should I regret what I said? To challenge (anyone) is not the job of the police.

“I did not challenge them. What I said was ‘come back if they dare’. I did not challenge them,” he told the press during a Hari Raya event today at the Police Training Centre in Cheras, according to a report by Malaysiakini.

Khalid had on June 24 responded to an IS video threatening the police, in which IS militant Mohd Rafi Udin, based in Syria, had said: “Those of you in Bukit Aman, you will no longer have peace. We will slaughter you… when we return. Our friends back home will hunt you down.”

To this Khalid had said, “You only dare to make threats from afar, (why don’t you) come back!”

Four days later, a grenade was thrown into Movida, a nightspot in Puchong, that left eight people injured. Later police confirmed the incident as being the first attack on Malaysian soil by the militant group.

Khalid also cautioned the media against “glamourising” the terrorists, and threatened to take action against any media who interviewed them as their actions would be seen as a threat to national security.

“Take that as a warning from me. This is not a game.”

This follows published interviews by the News Straits Times and Oriental News Daily with Syria-based Malaysian IS leader Muhammad Wandy Mohamed Jedi recently.