Managing the Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Their Families: Malaysian Experience

Ahmad El-Muhammady 19 Jan 2023

Keywords: foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), IS, repatriation, rehabilitation, reintegration, prosecution, security, international justice

The main objective of the article is to explore Malaysia’s approach in managing the returning fighters and their families in the post-IS phase. In doing so, the article is divided into four parts. The first part provides the background to Malaysians involvement as foreign fighters starting from the 1990s until the IS case. Second part highlights the uniqueness of IS’ foreign fighters and why Malaysia adopted repatriation policy towards its citizens who involved in IS struggle. The third part explores the process of repatriation of foreign fighters and their families namely the assessment, rehabilitation, prosecution and reintegration. The last part of the article provides an assessment on Malaysia’s approach particularly from the perspective of human rights and rule of law, as well as its overall effectiveness.

Related Readings:

Sumpter, C., and Franco, J. Islamist Militancy in Indonesia and the Philippines: Domestic Lineage and Sporadic Foreign Influence. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 15 September 2021

Gartenstein-Ross, D., Clarke, C. P. and Hodgson, S. Foreign Terrorist Fighters from Southeast Asia: What Happens Next? Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 17 February 2020

Sumpter, C. Returning Indonesian Extremists: Unclear Intentions and Unprepared Responses. Policy Brief, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 12 July 2018

Sumpter, C. Reintegration in Indonesia: Extremists, Start-ups and Occasional Engagements. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 19 February 2019