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MALAYSIAN RETURNING ISIS FIGHTERS FREE DUE TO LACK OF PROOF?

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Proof or the lack of it is holding back police from arresting the Malaysians who return after fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) militant group, a senior intelligence source said.

"These Malaysians have not been picked up immediately because the burden of proof lies with the police, not the suspects," he told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said although some Malaysians had posted pictures of themselves on social media, these had to be proven as genuine.

"If the Malaysian militant had posted an image of himself wielding an automatic rifle in the Middle East on Instagram or Facebook, police have to verify the image.

"First, was the image really taken in the Middle East? Is the image authentic and genuine? Witnesses are also required to verify if the suspect was really in the Middle East."

The official said that under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, there were a number of boxes which police needed to tick.

"Getting statements from sources in the Middle East to confirm that a Malaysian citizen was there fighting alongside Isis forces is insufficient," the official said.

"Police must build a strong case before a Malaysian suspect who fought alongside Isis forces in the Middle East can be charged in court here.

"True, there may be numerous pictures and images posted on social media of Malaysians fighting in the Middle East but who is going to authenticate the images?"

It was recently reported that at least five Isis militants had returned and that police had arrested three of them. The official said of the three arrested, two had been charged in court last week.

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