Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (right) at the federal police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today. Bernama Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is considering ways of according autonomy to the police force's Anti-Terrorism Unit to allow it to combat terrorism more effectively, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

He said that the Anti-Terrorism Unit, which is in the process of being upgraded to a division, may be given more autonomy and separated from other police force divisions.

"We are looking into ways on how we can give the anti-terrorism unit more autonomy to carry out their duties in combating terrorism in the country.

"We also believe it is important that the number of officers under the unit is increased," he said.

Khalid was speaking to reporters at the federal police headquarters here today after the handing-over ceremony of 3,864 kuih raya packets for distribution to police officers set for deployment nationwide during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri period.

On a separate matter, Khalid said over 40,000 police officers, including 8,000 traffic police officers, will be deployed nationwide throughout Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year – a number much higher compared to previous years.

He said that it is important for the police force to continue to be alert and prepared throughout the festive season, particularly during the Ramadan month, when terrorism activities may increase.

"The Islamic State group believe that they will receive more blessings and rewards should they conduct more Jihadist activities during the Ramadan month, which is considered as holy for Muslims.

"Because of this, we need to continue to be alert and prepared to monitor those suspected (of being involved in terrorist activities)," Khalid added.

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