Singapore terror suspect had multiple businesses in JB
KUALA LUMPUR: A Singaporean arrested recently for militant activities had multiple businesses in Johor Baru, ranging from massage parlours to restaurants.
Sources said the suspect, who was identified by Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs as Mohamed Kazali Salleh, 48, also brought in scrap cars from Singapore and Indonesia to Malaysia.
"The authorities are investigating whether the businesses were a front for the Islamic State terror group," said a source, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Mohamed Kazali was among six suspected militants detained by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division between Dec 19 and Jan 28.
The militant, who had given funds and received orders from Malaysian militant leader Akel Zainal, was told to recruit others for an attack, another source said.
"He has been in close contact with Akel since 2008. Authorities discovered that in December last year, Akel told him to target a Freemason building in the Nong Chik area (of Johor Baru)," the source said.
The suspect was handed over to the Singaporean authorities on Jan 7 after Bukit Aman completed investigations.
Mohamed Kazali was detained under Singapore's Internal Security Act.
"Based on intelligence, the suspect was not leading any terror cell in the island republic," said a source.
The five others detained along with Mohamed Kazali during the operations by Bukit Aman police were two Malaysians and three men from the Philippines, Bangladesh and another South Asian country.
Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the Malaysians had been deported from a foreign country for their involvement with ISIS and were arrested in Sepang.
It is learnt that the duo were working at a farm in Australia before being deported.
A 21-year-old Filipino, who was a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group, was arrested in Kota Kinabalu.
A 26-year-old south Asian man was detained in Puchong and a Bangladeshi cleaner in Klang.
The latest arrests bring the total number of militants detained in Malaysia since February 2013 to 459. - THE STAR