One of the assumptions that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic is that the pandemic has deterred violent extremist groups from pursuing their sinister agenda. This assumption is false. Even as human activities, mobility and interaction have been limited to a certain degree, there is evidence to suggest that violent extremist groups in certain countries remain active, if not exploiting new opportunities bestowed by the pandemic to further their aspiration and objectives. Like many other countries, Malaysia may be compelled to refocus the resources available to security forces – including those involved in counter-terrorism/counter violence extremism (CT/CVE) – in view of the immediate priorities presented by the pandemic. This policy brief attempts to look at some developments in the terrorism landscape during the pandemic period, which should be within Malaysia’s security radar, while also charting some policy options to avert any unintended consequences.

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