Brunei Army Commander: Brunei is IS free
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Sultanate has established its own team of intelligence personnel in a bid to counter any possible emerging threats from the violent Sunni Wahabbi terrorist group, the Islamic State (IS).
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces Commander, Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Md Tawih Abdullah stated this at a press conference following the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Chiefs of Defence Conference (CHOD), while reassuring that Brunei is keeping a close watch on the IS activities.
Though the situation is developing thousands of miles away, the Sultanate recognizes the importance of ensuring not just its borders remain safe but also the safety of the region, with relevant agencies working with their respective counterparts within and outside Asean in dealing with one of the pressing security concerns on a global scale.
In an interview with local media, the commander explained that relevant agencies in Brunei “are keeping an eye on the movement of those who support IS, particularly those from neighboring states”. A recent report claimed that a woman was apprehended at the KLIA2 in Malaysia after it was found she had intended to use Brunei as a transit point to reach Turkey to marry on IS fighter.
“With close cooperation from counterparts in the region and elsewhere, we are able to monitor movements of individuals who could potentially be involved either directly or indirectly with IS” and who intended to use Brunei as a transit point, signaling that the Sultanate is committed to fighting the war against terrorism, echoing the recent titah of His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and the Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The RBAF Commander assured that “We don’t have to be overly concerned with such activities here in Brunei”, emphasizing that “the Bruneian people are more aware and know exactly where the line is drawn in being a good Muslim and an extremist”.
Other topics addressed during the press conference included Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief as well as the Ebola crisis with military presence to support either as front-liners and first responders or in facilitating front-liner responsibilities, especially towards assisting nurses and doctors.