One Bangladeshi national, two Malaysians and three other foreigners, including a Singaporean, have been detained in Malaysia on suspicion of being involved with terrorist groups, says Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
He said the six men were detained in multiple swoops in Johor, Selangor and Sabah between Dec 19 last year and Jan 28.
“Those detained were two Malaysians and four foreigners from Singapore, Bangladesh, the Philippines and a South Asian country.
“They were arrested through intelligence work conducted by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division,” he said.
The IGP said the first person arrested was a 48-year-old Singaporean businessman in Johor Baru on Dec 19.
“He was in constant contact with Malaysian Islamic State (IS) militant leader Akel Zainal, who is in Syria.
“He even channelled funds to Akel while receiving orders to recruit new militants to launch an attack on a freemason building in Johor Baru,” he said in a statement on Friday (Feb 15).
The arrest was made possible through the close cooperation between Malaysia’s Special Branch and Singapore’s Internal Security Department.
“The suspect has been handed over to Singaporean authorities on Jan 7 after the investigation on our end was concluded,” the IGP said.
The second arrest also took place on Dec 19 in Klang, where a 31-year-old Bangladeshi cleaner was detained.
“We believe he is an avid supporter of IS and had been tasked with recruiting militants for the terror group,” he said.
Mohamad Fuzi said the third series of arrests was on two Malaysians in Sepang on Jan 10, who had been deported from a foreign country for their involvement with IS.
“One of them even gave funds to Malaysian militant Khairul Amizan Azmi, who is in Syria,” he said.
The next arrest on Jan 19 was on a 21-year-old Filipino man, a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“The suspect was arrested in Kota Kinabalu. We believe he sneaked into the country in March last year.
“The suspect was an expert in an array of weapons, and he has connections to Abu Sayyaf leader Furiji Indama,” said Mohamad Fuzi, adding that a total of 39 Abu Sayyaf militants have been detained since 2017.
The country’s top cop said the last man arrested was a 26-year-old South Asian in Puchong on Jan 28.
“He was arrested for harbouring a fellow countrymen who is listed under Interpol’s Red Notice for his involvement in terrorist activities,” he said.
Mohamad Fuzi said all suspects were detained under the Security Measures (Special Offences) Act (Sosma) 2012.The Star Online.