Malaysian ISIS fighters taking bank loans to fund ‘one way trip’ to martyrdom
Sources close to the police investigation told the publication that many of the suspects have taken out the loans with no intention of ever paying them back as they believe they are on a one way road to martyrdom. This practice had been going for some time and sources said there were many Malaysian fighters in Iraq and Syria who had got there with bank loans.
One woman who was arrested as she was trying to leave Malaysia for Syria had got a loan for RM100,000 ($28,695).
Another 30-year old former National Service trainer, who was arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday, had taken out a RM20,000 ($5,739) loan.
“Some of them subscribed to the idea that even if they do come back to Malaysia, they would be arrested and settling the loan would be the least of their problems,” one source said.
Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, the principal assistant director of Malaysia’s Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (SB-CTD), said that this method of getting hold of cash was becoming popular with home grown IS members.
“The trend of taking out personal loans from banks is on the rise. They include young militants, especially those in their early twenties. Those with low credit ratings will apply for personal loans for as low as RM5,000 ($1,434),” he said.
He said that many jihadists who go to Iraq and Syria to fight with IS arm themselves and can buy a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle for as little as $570. While IS also pays foreign jihadists a comfortable monthly allowance.
Other sources told The New Straits Times that counterterrorism detectives were also watching religious schools and orphanages, which had organized fund-raising activities to support IS in the past.