Malaysia ISIS recruits ‘take out loans’ to fund trip

Some ISIS recruits with low credit ratings will apply for personal loans for as low as $1,400. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Malaysian supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have applied and received bank loans to finance their trip to join the militant group, Malaysia’s New Straits Times reported.

At least five of the ISIS supporters barred from travelling had sold all their belongings and took out loans, some as large as $30,000, the paper quoted police reports as saying.

Malaysia’s Special Branch’s Counter-Terrorism Division said it would instruct banks to inhibit loans from those believed to have ties with ISIS.

Security sources told the English-language daily that the five held had been following the lead of fellow ISIS members in Syria and Iraq who had also taken out loans to finance their militancy.

“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 of the sources told the New Strait Times.

The Counter-Terrorism group's Assistant Director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said police found this method of raising funds was quickly gaining momentum among ISIS supporters in Malaysia.

“We know that before this, many militants wanting to fight in Syria would sell off their belongings or were sponsored to go over [there] by ISIS supporters in the country.”

“Lately, however, the trend of taking personal loans from banks is on the rise.”

“They include young militants, especially those in the early 20s. Those with low credit ratings will apply for personal loans for as low as RM5,000 [$1,400].”

Pitchay explained that the militants then used the money to arm themselves, among other things.

He added that Malaysians ISIS militants received a comfortable monthly allowance from the group.

Last Update: 06:46 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46