Fight against terror

Six charged in Malaysia over terror links

One of the six who are accused of supporting ISIS. No pleas were recorded but all six accused nodded to indicate that they understood the charges against them.
One of the six who are accused of supporting ISIS. No pleas were recorded but all six accused nodded to indicate that they understood the charges against them.PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Accused include a female ex-security guard

KUALA LUMPUR • Six people, including a female former security guard, were charged yesterday in Malaysian courts with supporting terrorism activities, local media reported.

The new batch of suspected militants dragged to court forms part of the ongoing fight against extremism in the Muslim-majority country. The extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) carried out its first successful attack in Malaysia in June, with two men on a motorcycle lobbing a grenade into a nightspot in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, injuring eight people.

The two suspects behind this attack have been nabbed.

Yesterday, former security guard Zilah Tajudin, 43, showed no emotions at the Ipoh magistrate's court, where she was accused of posting details of ISIS activities to a Telegram phone messaging group, The Star newspaper reported.

She was escorted by three police officers when she arrived at the court around 8.30am. Her family members were weeping as the charges were read to her.

She was accused of encouraging and supporting the militant activities via Telegram at her house on July 18 in Ipoh, Perak.

  • 230 Number of ISIS militants arrested in Malaysia since 2013

    200 Number of those arrested who were Malaysian

    77 Number charged in court

The trial is set to start on Sept 20. Deputy public prosecutor Fadhli Abdul Wahab said he would apply for the case to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur High Court. If convicted, Zilah faces up to 30 years in jail, and could be fined or have her property forfeited if it was used to carry out the terrorism offence.

In Penang, four men were hauled to court for supporting ISIS, The Sun newspaper reported yesterday.

One of them, Mohamad Saufi Ibrahim, 21, was accused of knowingly supporting ISIS through the Telegram app. The unemployed man was also accused of having in his possession terrorism-related materials consisting of an ISIS sticker and two books at his home in Penang.

In the Tapah magistrate's court in Perak, a self-employed man was also charged with supporting ISIS, Bernama news agency reported. No plea was recorded from Zairosfitri Jainuddin Azhar, 24, when the charge was read to him in court.

Official figures showed that since 2013, police have arrested 230 ISIS members in Malaysia, with most of the arrests made this year. Of the total, 200 were Malaysians. Police have secured 48 convictions and 77 were charged, while 59 others were released after investigations.

Police said earlier this week that most terror acts planned against the country were hatched locally, and assured the public that the extremist threat is currently contained in Malaysia due to the limited capabilities of cell members and continuing police efforts to thwart them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'Six charged in Malaysia over terror links'. Print Edition | Subscribe