45 foreign terrorists arrested since January: Malaysian police, Latest World News - The New Paper

45 foreign terrorists arrested since January: Malaysian police

This article is more than 12 months old

Terror groups cooperating to send militants to Malaysia: Police chief

Malaysian police have detained an 18-year-old youth in Kelantan state for making a bomb.

The teen is suspected of having links to terrorism and was among several people arrested for suspected involvement with terrorist groups, national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said, declining to elaborate.

"It is too early to reveal any details but I will release a statement about this in three days," he told reporters at a press conference at the Police Training Centre yesterday.

In a separate development, he said Malaysia's Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division had also arrested 45 foreign terrorist fighters in a series of operations between January and Oct 6.

The arrests, he said in a statement yesterday, were made based on intelligence that remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been instructed to infiltrate other countries to launch attacks after losing the majority of their bases in Iraq and Syria.

"We also discovered cooperation between ISIS and other terrorist groups, including the ASG, in sending militants to Malaysia to launch attacks," he said, referring to ISIS, the Abu Sayyaf Group and Bangladesh terror group Jamaatul Mujahideen.

"ASG members who entered Malaysia are suspected to have planned on launching attacks here, but other terrorists (from different groups) on the other hand, are suspected of seeking shelter, collecting funds, planning to either launch attacks here or using Malaysia as their operation base to launch attacks at other countries," he said.

Mr Mohamad Fuzi added that the success of the operations is the result of cooperation with foreign intelligence and enforcement agencies.

"The police will continue to monitor and take action against foreign terrorist fighters to make sure that all attempts to launch attacks (in Malaysia) are stopped," he said.

Mr Mohamad Fuzi also revealed that of the 45 foreign fighters detained, 31 were members of ISIS, with three of them identified as commanders.

The others include nine ASG militants, three from the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation, one Albanian militant affiliated to ISIS and another is linked to Jamaatul Mujahideen.

Thus far, 13 have been brought to court, 12 were deported back to their respective countries, seven were freed and one has been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015. The remaining 12 are still under investigation.