IS sending funds to Southeast Asian arm

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State (IS) is channelling large funds to its Southeast Asia arm, Katibah Nusantara, issuing IT orders to launch more armed attacks in the region.

The federal police Special Branch learnt from shared intelligence reports from its counterparts worldwide that IS had allocated over US$73,000 (RM292,000) for Katibah Nusantara, which was meant for financing terror bombings and attacks at strategic locations in Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia.

Sources said three leaders of Katibah Nusantara are pushing their followers in the region to stage such attacks as that which took place near a shopping mall in Jakarta on Jan 14.

Federal police Special Branch counter-terrorism head SAC Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay confirmed that police had received information on such funding and were taking all necessary precautions to ensure national security.

Katibah Nusantara comprises IS followers of Malay-speaking countries mainly Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The group takes orders from core leaders of IS in Syria and is responsible for the recruitment of fighters, suicide bombers and funding of sorts in promoting militancy in the region.