Malaysian youth who joined Syrian Al-Qaeda terror cell detained at KLIA

The suspect being escorted by members of Malaysia's special branch counter-terrorism division.
The suspect being escorted by members of Malaysia's special branch counter-terrorism division. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A 19-year-old Malaysian militant who joined an Al-Qaeda terror cell in Syria was nabbed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here earlier this week, authorities said on Friday (Dec 11).

The Perak-born suspect, who joined the Al Jund Al-Aqsa cell, was detained by the Bukit Aman special branch counter-terrorism division upon arrival from Turkey on Monday (Dec 7).

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspect, a student at a university in Cairo, joined the militant group in 2014 after contacting cell members via Facebook.

"He then secured passage to Syria via Turkey. We believe he has undergone weapons training at a few of the cell's training grounds in Hamar and Idlip in Syria," he said in a statement Friday (Dec 11).

He said the suspect was trained to use weapons including rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, anti-tank weapons and grenades.

He is the eighth militant detained by the police on their return.

He also said the other seven suspects have been charged, with two already serving their sentences.

The IGP said the suspect was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.