Malaysia on alert after arrests of 9 terror suspects, including foreigners

Malaysia on alert after arrests of 9 terror suspects, including foreigners

The latest arrests of nine terror suspects including six Egyptian and one Tunisian in Klang Valley and Sarawak between Feb 2 and Feb 9, 2019. Photo courtesy Royal Malaysia Police

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Six Egyptians and a Tunisian were among nine people nabbed by police for their involvement in a foreign Al-Qaeda-linked militant group based in northern Africa and plot to launch large-scale terror attacks on several countries.

The arrests were carried out by the Federal Special Branch’s counter-terrorism division (CTD) between Feb 2 and Feb 9 following intelligence reports received from its foreign counterparts of the presence of militants of the north African-based terror group known as the Ansar Al-Shariah Al-Tunisia here.

The reports also revealed that the group had planned to launch large-scale armed attacks on several countries.

Two Malaysians were among those held for in the operation

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said yesterday that a 21-year-old Egyptian and a 22-year-old Tunisian held in KL were members of the Ansar Al-Shariah Al-Tunisia who had entered Malaysia using fake Syrian passports in October last year.

He said the suspects who are unemployed had planned to use Malaysia as a transit country to sneak into other countries to execute their plans to launch the armed attacks.

Mohamad Fuzi said police learnt that in 2016, the duo were also held when trying to slip into an African country.

He said five other Egyptians and two Malaysians held in the week-long raids were found to have acted as facilitators for the duo by providing them shelter, air tickets and employment.

Mohamad Fuzi said the five Egyptians were – a religious school teacher, an Arabic language teacher and three students of higher learning institutions, all based in Malaysia.

Mohamad Fuzi said the raids launched to nab the nine suspects were at Setapak, Bukit Bintang, Seri Kembangan and Serian, Sarawak.

He said all nine suspects who are aged between 20 and 54 were held under laws of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Mohamad Fuzi said the seven foreigners were deported to their respective countries under immigration laws on Tuesday last week and police have recommended they be blacklisted from entering Malaysia for the rest of their lives.

“The foreign suspects had attempted to turn Malaysia into their safe haven, a transit country and a logistics centre. They would sneak into Malaysia either with legitimate or fake travel documents, marrying Malaysians to obtain a spouse visa, or a student visa to further their studies here or run a business.

“The entry of foreign terrorist fighters into Malaysia needs to be viewed seriously especially following the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Their presence here is to set up a base to launch armed attacks on Malaysian soil and other countries,” added Fuzi


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