Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – A government bureaucrat was one of 14 people arrested this week in Malaysia on suspicion of planning to join Islamic State fighters in the Middle East, police said Thursday.
The man was a 37-year-old senior assistant director with the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said.
The suspect was believed to be involved in recruitment and in receiving funds for the recruitment operations, he said.
“The man is an engineer by profession,” he told reporters, adding that investigators were tracing where his funds came from.
Police swept the country from Monday to Wednesday rounding up people thought to have plans to join the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate that controls a swathe of northern Syria and Iraq.
Khalid first gave the number of arrests as 13 Wednesday, but the number rose to 14 with one detention later that day.
The detainees ranged in age from a 14-year-old boy to a 48-year-old man, and included a family of five.
They were planning to reach the Islamic State via Turkey, Khalid said.
Dozens of Malaysian are believed to have joined the jihadists in Syria and police have intensified monitoring of social media sites used by the group to entice new recruits, a police official said.
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