Beauty around the vol­cano

Bukit Aman’s quick ac­tions prove to be a bane for ter­ror­ists

The Star Malaysia - - Front Page - By FARIK ZOLKEPLI and M. KU­MAR news­desk@thes­tar.com.my

One of the 20 most sur­real places in the world, ac­cord­ing to TripAd­vi­sor, is New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu Ther­mal Won­der­land.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some of them came here on a mis­sion – to cre­ate civil un­rest, in­clud­ing launch­ing ter­ror at­tacks at cer­tain lo­ca­tions.

Sev­eral oth­ers were plan­ning to use the coun­try as a tran­sit point and a base, as well as to col­lect funds to fi­nance their ter­ror op­er­a­tions.

But quick ac­tion by the po­lice from the Counter Ter­ror­ism Di­vi­sion put paid to their con­certed plans.

Since early this year and up to last week, po­lice have rounded up 45 for­eign ter­ror­ist fighters in sev­eral spe­cial op­er­a­tions na­tion­wide.

In­spec­tor- Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Mo­hamad Fuzi Harun said nine of those de­tained were from the Abu Sayyaf group.

Mo­hamad Fuzi said in­tel­li­gence showed mem­bers of this group had planned to launch sev­eral at­tacks in the coun­try.

Oth­ers rounded up in­clude three from Fe­tul­lah Turki, one from an Al­ba­nian ter­ror cell linked to the Is­lamic State (IS) and an­other from Ja­maatul Mu­jahideen Bangladesh.

“Thirty-one of these fighters are IS mil­i­tants from var­i­ous coun­tries, in­clud­ing three from Iraq.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that these three key sus­pects are com­man­ders of an IS cell there.

“All the sus­pects were taken into cus­tody by our counter ter­ror­ism teams in sting op­er­a­tions be­tween Jan­uary and Oct 6,” he said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Mo­hamad Fuzi said the ar­rests were part of Bukit Aman’s proac­tive move based on in­tel­li­gence on these fighters, who were pre­vi­ously based in Iraq and Syria and were or­dered to in­fil­trate other coun­tries.

“We also dis­cov­ered the IS co­op­er­ated with other ter­ror­ist groups, in­clud­ing the Abu Sayyaf, to send mil­i­tants to Malaysia to launch at­tacks.

“So far, 13 of them have been charged un­der the Se­cu­rity Of­fences (Spe­cial Mea­sures) Act,” he added.

Mo­hamad Fuzi said 12 oth­ers have been de­ported to face ac­tion by the au­thor­i­ties in their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

“One sus­pect is be­ing held un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Ter­ror­ism Act while an­other 12 are still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he said.

Mo­hamad Fuzi said the suc­cess in cap­tur­ing all these fighters was due to close co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign in­tel­li­gence and en­force­ment agen­cies.

“We will con­tinue to take ac­tion against for­eign ter­ror ele­ments and thwart any planned at­tacks by them in the coun­try,” he added.

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Pu­lapol, Mo­hamad Fuzi said sev­eral peo­ple, in­clud­ing a teenager, were nabbed in Ke­lan­tan on Wed­nes­day.

He said the 18-year-old was de­tained for mak­ing a bomb.

“I can con­firm that there were a few ar­rests in re­la­tion to sev­eral planned at­tacks at cer­tain tar­gets,” he added.

Await­ing their fate: The 13 for­eign ter­ror­ists who were charged in court by po­lice re­cently.

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