A Malaysian senior counterterrorism official has highlighted the role that social media plays in Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) recruitment, warning that it is targeting schoolchildren in particular.
Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay - the principal assistant director of the police's counter terrorism division in Kuala Lumpur - told the Malaysian National News Agency on Monday that recruiters are targeting such students via Facebook, as they are easily misled.
"The trend to recruit youngsters between the ages of 15 and 30 through Facebook is worrying. We are aware that some secondary school students have extremist tendencies and have been persuaded," he said.
He added that outside of schoolchildren, students with family and educational problems and government and private sector employees were also being targeted - usually taken in by verses from the Quran.
"At times only parts of the Quran verses are used, or verses are misinterpreted to make their objectives legitimate," he told Bernama news.
He suggested that religious authorities should issue a fatwa as a measure to curb militant recruitment.
"Controlling militant ideology and breeding is the role of the religious authorities. The police will take action if there is evidence and basis of individuals planning acts of violence," he said.
Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told the United Nations Security Council in September that Malaysia had designated ISIL a terrorist group, and vowed tougher action. It has also ordered financial institutions to screen clients against the United Nations' terror database and to freeze funds and assets if suspicious activity is detected.
Volunteers from Indonesia and Malaysia have reportedly formed a Malay-speaking Islamic State in Syria and Levant unit, according to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.
The Jakarta-based institute has said that 22 suspected members had created what they were calling the "Katibah Nusantara Lid Daulah Islamiyyah" (Malay archipelago unit for the Islamic State) in Al-Shadadi, northeastern Syria.
Analysts have said that the men appear to have been brought together after language difficulties, as many Indonesians found it hard to get along in multinational units with limited Arabic and English ability.
Around 20 Malaysians - including three women - are reported to have joined militant groups in Syria, while 23 others have been arrested in Malaysia for alleged links.