KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 ― The police have detained 45 foreign terrorists to date, in its counter-terrorism operations launched nationwide, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said today.
Some of those detained, especially members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) who had entered Malaysia, were suspected of planning to launch attacks here, Fuzi said.
“Our proactive action was taken based on intelligence gathered, that Daesh terrorists from various nations who had previously operated in Iraq and Syria, had begun escaping after the Daesh terrorists lost its control over most areas it conquered in Iraq and Syria,” Fuzi said, adding that these militants were then ordered to enter other countries in the world to launch terror attacks for Daesh.
Daesh is an alternate reference for terrorist group Islamic State or IS.
“Members of the ASG group who entered Malaysia, were suspected for attempting to launch attacks here, whereas other ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ entered into Malaysia to either seek refuge, collect funds, launch attacks here, or make Malaysia as their operation base to launch attacks on a third country,” he added.
Fuzi said that the intelligence gathered by the police also confirmed that there were foreign terrorist groups such as ASG and Jamaatul Mujahideen, which had joined forces with IS, either within the South-east Asia region or globally.
These groups, he said, had ordered its members to enter and launch attacks in Malaysia.
Of the 45 detained, Fuzi said that 31 were Foreign Terrorist Fighters from various countries, three of whom were Iraq nationals who commanded IS members in southern Iraq, with nine others being members from the ASG.
“Three were suspected of being involved with the Fetullah Turki terrorist group which has been listed as a terror organisation by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), one was suspected of being involved with an Albanian terror group with links to the Daesh terror group, and another was suspected of being involved with the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh terror group,” Fuzi added.
On action taken by the police, Fuzi said that 13 suspects were charged in court for terror related offences and under the Penal Code, and investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, with 12 others being deported back to their respective countries for further action from their authorities.
One suspect has been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015, 12 other suspects are still being investigated and seven have been released.