KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A total of 45 foreign terrorist fighters have been detained in Malaysia this year, said national police chief Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun on Friday (Oct 13).
The inspector-general of police said nine of those detained were from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), three from Fetullah Turki, one from an Albanian terror cell linked with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and another from Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
“The remaining 31 fighters were from multiple countries and they were involved in ISIS, including three from Iraq, who were commanders in the Iraqi ISIS cell.
“They were detained in multiple operations held between January and Oct 6 by the counter-terrorism division,” he said in a statement on Friday.
“We also discovered cooperation between ISIS and other terrorist groups, including the ASG in sending militants to Malaysia to launch attacks.
“Thirteen of those detained have been charged for offences under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) while 12 others have been deported to their countries of origin to face further action by the authorities in their respective countries.
“Another has been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. We are still investigating 12 other suspects,” he said.
Mr Mohamad Fuzi said the ASG militants, who managed to infiltrate Malaysia, had planned terror attacks while other fighters intended to use the country as a transit and hideout point, to collect funds and as a base for operations.
“The success of apprehending the fighters is based on good cooperation with foreign intelligence and enforcement agencies.
“We will continue to take action against foreign terror elements to thwart any planned attacks on Malaysia,” he said.
He added that actionable intelligence is vital towards detecting and nabbing terror elements.
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