A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Institute for International Peace Building Works to Reform Ex-Terrorists

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) recruitment has become a growing concern for many nations.

Although Malaysia is not currently in the media spotlight, the Malaysian government is concerned about individual citizens becoming involved in militant groups active in conflict zones abroad. In response, the government has introduced new legislation that would counter security threats from ISIL as well as strengthen existing security-related measures.

The government has created this legislation in response to the Malaysians who have already joined ISIL, and in anticipation of the potential threat that they may pose should they return to Malaysia.

One independent organization in Malaysia is looking to halt the flow of recruits into Iraq and Syria by focusing on returnees. Maria Fielding, a START intern, recently gave a presentation at START on The Institute for International Peace Building, a private organization looking to prevent ISIL recruitment in Malaysia. Founded by Noor Huda Ismail, the group works to reform ex-terrorists in the hope that of countering ISIL recruitment.

“The group tries to reintegrate ex-militants into society by providing jobs for them,” says Fielding. “Ismail apparently got the idea from witnessing a similar group in Ireland that helped to reintegrate former terrorists into society.”

As part of her project, Fielding interviewed Ross Frenett, who is involved with the Against Violence Extremism Network. He believes this program could be beneficial. The stories of ex-terrorists can act as a deterrent for those who are thinking about joining a terrorist organization. Because of their first-hand experiences, Frenett believes ex-terrorists have the best chance to make effective counter-arguments.