Witness tells court Yazid Sufaat member of JI Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The High Court here was today told that former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat is a member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) Malaysia.

Prof Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said Yazid’s involvement with the JI group was obtained through testimony of a prisoner and suspected terrorist known as “Hambali”, who is now under arrest in the United States (US).

Rohan, 54, said Hambali through his evidence in the 9/11 Commission Report, had said that he recruited Yazid to work with Al-Qaeda in South East Asia.

“The 9/11 report was based on investigations leading to the 9/11 attack. The report clearly mentioned how Hambali recruited Yazid Sufaat to work for Al-Qaeda in South East Asia.

“I testified before the 9/11 Commission on the structure of Al-Qaeda as some of the 9/11 attackers came to South East Asia, specifically to Malaysia and stayed in an apartment offered by Yazid Sufaat,” he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Nurdeenie Abdul Rashid.

He was testifying in the trial of Yazid, 51, and cafeteria assistant, Muhammad Hilmi Hashim, 35, who are charged with being involved in activities promoting terrorism.

Yazid faces two counts of promoting aggression with intent to incite the people of Syria and becoming a member of  the ‘Tanzim Al Qaeda Malaysia’ group, while Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him.

They were charged with committing the offence at DL 11, Taman Bukit Ampang, Lorong Mutiara 2, Lembah Jaya, Ampang, between Aug 1, 2012 and Feb 7, 2013.

They are facing charges under Section 130KA of the Penal Code (Act 574), which carries a life sentence and liable to be fined, if convicted.

However, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad who represented the two accused, objected to the questions raised by the prosecution because it was an opinion by the witness.

Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said the court took note on the objection.

Questioned by Nurdeenie on the Al-Qaeda group,  Rohan said Al-Qaeda had made the country a centre for organising meetings and planning terrorist attacks.

“Malaysia Militant Group (KMM) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI) send their members to get training with a group of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

“Individuals who have received training in Afghanistan, will return to his country and launch terrorist attacks,” he said.

He explained that Al-Qaeda was a political organisation which took out of context selected text in the Quran for its objectives.

The hearing continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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