Malaysia deports three foreigners and arrests a local for alleged involvement in terrorism

Counter-terror officers detaining the 38-year-old Nepalese businessman who was believed to handled the falsifying travel documents for terrorist groups.
Counter-terror officers detaining the 38-year-old Nepalese businessman who was believed to handled the falsifying travel documents for terrorist groups. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Police have deported three foreigners and arrested a Malaysian for alleged involvement in terrorist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The foreigners - from Bangladesh, Nepal and Morocco - were all arrested in August and sent home this month.

Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 22) that the 37-year-old Bangladeshi and the 38-year-old Nepali suspect were both running businesses in Malaysia before being arrested on Aug 19 and deported on Sept 2.

Tan Sri Khalid said the Bangladeshi owned a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur's retail and tourist hotspot Bukit Bintang. "He is suspected of being involved in smuggling firearms for international terrorists," the police chief said.

The Nepali man, who operated entertainment outlets and a hotel, was "suspected to be involved in falsifying travel documents for international terrorists", he added.

The two others - a 26-year-old Moroccan man who worked as a welder, and a 34-year-old Malaysian - were alleged to be ISIS operatives with ties to Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, a militant who is believed to be orchestrating the terror group's activities in Malaysia.

According to the police chief, Turkish authorities arrested the Moroccan previously for trying to enter Syria, before he made his way to Malaysia in May. He was arrested on Aug 2 and deported on Wednesday (Sept 21). 

The Malaysian man worked as a driver for a businessman and was actively promoting ISIS propaganda online.

Malaysia has been on high alert since last year, when police uncovered threats against the country’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Kuala Lumpur had its first ISIS attack in June, when eight people were injured in a grenade attack on a bar in Puchong. The police arrested 15 Malaysians in a counter-terrorism swoop after the attack.

shannont@sph.com.sg