Experts have warned that Islamic State may now be recruiting fighters and families from the persecuted community of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar, as the terror group looks to expand into wider Asia.
Up to 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar over the past few years and there are increasing concerns that the persecuted community may be easy targets for Isis, particularly if they are seeking asylum in Malaysia and Indonesia – two countries the terror group are known to actively recruit from.
Approximately 700 Indonesians and around 200 Malaysians are now fighting within the ranks of Isis in both Syria and Iraq. Last week the Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong commented on the importance of the area to the group. “Southeast Asia is a key recruitment center for Isis. Isis has so many Indonesian and Malaysian fighters, that they form a unit by themselves,” he said, referring to the unit which is reportedly called Katibah Nusantara.