KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's counter-terrorism police have arrested five terror suspects, including a Middle Eastern man who threatened to kill a foreign diplomat in Kuala Lumpur.
The suspects, comprising two Malaysians, one Egyptian, one Pakistani and one Middle Eastern man, were arrested in an operation between Oct 13 and Oct 26, said Inspector-General of Police Mohd Fuzi Harun in a press statement on Wednesday (Oct 31).
“The (Middle Eastern) suspect, aged 31, is unemployed and is involved in a case of threatening to kill a foreign diplomat in Kuala Lumpur,” said Fuzi, adding that the suspect was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
ARREST OF AL-QAEDA SUSPECT RAISES WORRY OF RESURGENCE
The Egyptian national, who works in a private firm as an executive manager, was arrested in Selangor. The 50-year-old was a former member of Al-Qaeda during his time in Afghanistan from 1988 to 1993, and had met Osama bin Laden.
“The suspect admitted to using fake travel documents to enter Canada, Azerbaijan and Pakistan,” said Fuzi.
“The suspect has been arrested and jailed before in Canada and Egypt for his involvement in terror activities and use of fake travel documents,” he added.
A senior intelligence source told Channel NewsAsia that the arrest and discovery of an Al-Qaeda member in Malaysia raise concerns about a resurgence of the militant group.
“We are investigating what are his activities in Malaysia. You must remember, Al-Qaeda is always planning for the long term,” said the source.
“Al-Qaeda came to KL in 1999 to plan the 9/11 attack that was later carried out in 2001,” warned the source.
PAKISTANI MEMBER OF LASHKAR-E-TAIBA, TWO MALAYSIANS ARRESTED
The Pakistani arrested in Sitiawan, Perak is a 31-year-old labourer believed to be involved with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group.
“The suspect has undergone para-military training at Lashkar-e-Taiba’s camp,” said Fuzi, adding that the suspect entered Malaysia in August 2016.
The two Malaysians arrested were suspected of giving money to Malaysian Islamic State (IS) member Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, who was killed in Syria in 2017.
One of the suspects is a woman working in a private firm who was arrested in Gombak, Selangor.
The other suspect is a 40-year-old man who was arrested in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where he worked as a service manager in a telecommunications company.
The suspect channelled money to Muhammad Wanndy and another Malaysian, Muhamad Fudhail Omar, who was also in Syria.
“The suspect also donated money to the Abu Sayyaf Group in southern Philippines between 2015 and 2018 with the aim of funding terror activities,” said Fuzi.