Friday, May 9, 2014
By: CELINE FERNANDEZ
Move Follows Arrests Last Week of 11 People Thought to Have Terror Links
Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Unit officers detaining the 34-year-old Somalian man, believed to be a member of Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Police here on Thursday arrested a suspected East African terrorist who they said was on Interpol's most-wanted list.
The news comes one week after Malaysian police said they had detained 11 people suspected to have what they said were terrorist links and who were plotting terrorist activities.
Police didn't say whether the suspects in the separate arrests might be affiliated.
Last week, a senior government official said Malaysia is taking steps to make sure it doesn't become a place terrorists use to recruit and train others. "If this is not nipped from the beginning, we are worried that it will involve the political stability of Malaysia," Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the minister of home affairs, had said.
"We are firm in taking this action because we do not want Malaysia to be the training nest of the terrorist. We do not want Malaysia to be considered as the launchpad for terrorists in Southeast Asia or even the entire world," he had added.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Mohd Bakri Zinin said Thursday's arrest was of someone who allegedly is involved in the activities of the al-Shabaab militant group in East Africa. "Police are investigating the subject's activities in Malaysia to identify any al-Shabaab terrorist elements which might be hiding or carrying out activities that might jeopardize the safety of Malaysia," he said.
Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group based in Somalia. It is waging an insurgency against the Somali government but has been operating in other countries, such as Kenya.
Mr. Bakri said the suspect in this latest arrest was a 34-year-old captured in a special operation by the country's antiterrorist brigade in the state of Selangor. The suspect, who wasn't identified, will be investigated under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act of 2012. The act allows police to detain people for up to 28 days during investigations into internal security issues, including public order, acts of terrorism, sabotage and espionage.
Write to Celine Fernandez at [email protected]