KL deports foreigner with ISIS links

Man from unnamed African nation entered country using forged student pass

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia has arrested and deported a foreign man with links to the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

The 31-year-old man, was arrested by officers from the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division last week and deported on Wednesday, reported the Malaysian Insider.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told Bernama news agency that the suspect was on the "Most Wanted List" in his own country, which police revealed only as a country in the northern part of Africa.

"The suspect was arrested in 2007 and jailed for two years in his home country for involvement in terrorist activities," Mr Khalid said.

He added that the suspect had also left for Syria in 2013 to join ISIS, and was arrested early last year while trying to enter Turkey.

He had been living in Malaysia for at least a year before his most recent arrest.

"He entered Malaysia in March last year, using a forged student pass of a public higher education institute in the Klang Valley," Mr Khalid said in a statement.

Although the suspect was registered at a local university, the Malaysian Insider reported that he had never attended any of the English classes there.

Instead, he was found to be working at a restaurant.

Police said the suspect had managed to avoid detection until Malaysia and the African country shared information which helped the police locate him.

Mr Khalid said follow-up investigations will be conducted to identify members of the forgery syndicate so as to prevent further exploitation by foreign terrorists seeking to make Malaysia a base for their operations.

The Malaysian authorities have pledged to fight ISIS, stepping up their monitoring of the militant group's activities and influence in the country.

Since April 2013, 107 people in Malaysia have been arrested on suspicions of having links to ISIS.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'KL deports foreigner with ISIS links'. Print Edition | Subscribe