Indonesian charged with having ISIS materials

PONTIAN (Malaysia) • An Indonesian national has been charged with possessing materials related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

Ihsan, 31, who goes by only one name, appeared calm before Magistrate Azlan Bohari yesterday at the court in Pontian. He only nodded his head after the charge was read out to him. He allegedly owned a mobile phone that contained 196 images and 200 videos of the group's terror activities.

The accused was alleged to have committed the offence at Kampung Parit Abdul Rahman, near Benut, on Dec 1 at around 12.05pm.

Ihsan faces a maximum jail sentence of seven years, or a fine, or having his items seized.

No plea was recorded and no bail was offered to the accused. The magistrate set Jan 28 as the date for the next mention of the case.

The charge was read out by Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhaili Sapun. Ihsan was not represented.

The accused was arrested by a special police team from Bukit Aman on Dec 1, with assistance from the Special Branch of the Pontian district police, reported The Rakyat Post.

Ihsan, a mechanic at a lorry workshop, had reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS militant leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi via Facebook in the middle of last year, reported the Malaysiakini news portal.

The arrest came as part of a two-week special operation that began nationwide on Nov 17 against individuals involved in terrorist activities related to ISIS.

During the operation, police nabbed five suspects, including Ihsan in Johor, who is believed to be the leader of a terrorist cell. The accused, who has a valid passport, was working in a Benut factory when he was arrested.

The other suspects were nabbed in various locations across Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Kelantan.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'Indonesian charged with having ISIS materials'. Print Edition | Subscribe