Malaysia police on alert for release of 350 Jemaah Islamiah members in Indonesia

Malaysians authorities are on the alert following the expected release of about 350 former Jemaah Islamiah members from prisons in Indonesia. One such example would be Malaysian JI bomb expert Taufik Abdul Halim, 39, who would be sent back
Malaysians authorities are on the alert following the expected release of about 350 former Jemaah Islamiah members from prisons in Indonesia. One such example would be Malaysian JI bomb expert Taufik Abdul Halim, 39, who would be sent back to Malaysia after being incarcerated in Indonesia for 12 years.-- PHOTO: UTUSAN MALAYSIA

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians authorities are on the alert following the expected release of about 350 former Jemaah Islamiah members from prisons in Indonesia.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysian police was aware of the possible release of the prisoners, which is expected to be on Friday.

"The police are working with their Indonesian counterparts to secure the full list of prisoners released," he told a press conference at the police headquarters in Bukit Aman on Thursday.

"We will remain vigilant in the matter."

He was commenting on JI bomb expert Malaysian Taufik Abdul Halim, 39, who would be sent back to Malaysia after being incarcerated in Indonesia for 12 years.

Taufik is the brother-in-law of FBI most wanted terrorist Zulkifli Abdul Khir, better known as Marwan.

"Action will be taken against him if he has committed any criminal offences in Malaysia. "The police will keep close tabs on him," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid vowed that the country would not be used as a base or transit point for terrorists.

"We are committed towards combating terrorism and using existing laws to do so. "The country will not be a "haven" for terrorists or militants," he said.

It was reported that Taufik was released from an Indonesian prison after being jailed for 12 years for an attempted bombing of a shopping mall in Jakarta on August 1, 2001.

He is expected to arrive from Indonesia on Thursday, after which he would be under police custody for some time.

Taufik was also a member of Malaysian militant group Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM), responsible for murders and numerous bank robberies.