Malaysia deports three foreign suspected militants, two of them with alleged links to ISIS

A Malaysian soldier from the 10th Paratrooper Brigade looks on before a joint police-army exercise at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 22, 2016.
A Malaysian soldier from the 10th Paratrooper Brigade looks on before a joint police-army exercise at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 22, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia has deported three foreign suspected militants, two of them Russians allegedly involved with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a Sri Lankan, the country's police chief said on Friday (May 13).

The two Russian men, of Chechen origin, and the Sri Lankan were arrested in two operations in March and April, Malaysia's inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement.

The Russians, aged 23 and 25, had previously been deported from Turkey before entering Malaysia in March.

"They had been arrested by Turkish authorities for alleged involvement in IS militant activities in Syria," Tan Sri Khalid said, adding that the duo were deported on Friday.

A 42-year-old Sri Lankan technician who allegedly posted online death threats against the president and prime minister of the Indian Ocean island was detained on April 22.

The suspect was deported five days later, Mr Khalid said, adding that he figured on the "most-wanted" list of the Sri Lankan authorities.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has been on high alert since an armed attack by militants linked to ISIS in Jakarta, the capital of neighbouring Indonesia, in January, in which four militants and four others died.

Since January 2015, Malaysian police have arrested more than 160 people suspected of being involved in militant activities, including seven believed to have been part of an ISIS cell.

In March, the authorities said police foiled an attack to kidnap Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other senior ministers last year.