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September 23, 2017

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Taipei Grand Mosque rejects claims of local terrorism recruitment

Taipei Grand Mosque (台北清真寺) yesterday voiced their surprise over the National Security Bureau's (NSB, 國家安全局) claim that it was investigating incidents of a radical Muslim organization recruiting members in Taiwan.

The NSB claimed yesterday that a radical Muslim organization had sent people recruited in Taiwan to a Middle Eastern country for training in terrorist attacks, adding that the organization had also promised the recruits that they would be reimbursed upon their return to Taiwan.

According to a United Evening News report, the NSB received information from international channels. The report went on to say that the bureau has a complete record of the recruits' travels; so far, the Taiwanese recruits have not committed any acts of terrorism.

Given that Taiwan is likely to join the U.S.' visa-waiver program by October, these reports come at a sensitive time.

Taipei Grand Mosque Executive Secretary Ismail Wang (王夢龍) denied the claims of a local terrorist recruitment drive and said that the NSB was worrying too much.

Wang went on to say that radical groups recruit the poor, who usually live in the rural parts of a country. He added that in a society as stable as Taiwan, people are not likely to be recruited by radicals.

According to Wang, there have only been two or three Muslims in Taiwan who received money from Libya and Kuwait, but the money was given by public sector groups and not religious ones. Those who received funds from the Middle Eastern countries are scholars and businesspeople who help promote Islam, Wang said, adding that such funding has been commonplace for years.

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