By Md Izwan
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― More suspected terrorists have sprouted up in Malaysia but authorities have been keeping an eye on their movement since last year, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
The home minister assured Malaysians that the situation was under control and the government was working with international agencies on this security matter.
“I cannot announce the number today, but I am establishing Malaysia’s ties with international agencies ― whether it is with the CIA, MI6, agencies in India and Pakistan and others,” Hishammuddin told reporters in Parliament.
He also confirmed today that the two Malaysians arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of being suicide bombers for al Qaeda were indeed linked to the global Islamic terrorist organisation, based on police intelligence and the findings of foreign agencies.
He added that they had been under the authorities’ observation since last year.
“These two who have links with international terrorist group al Qaeda were monitored by the authorities since last year.
“We only reveal this today because the issue has become public knowledge following the two Malaysians’ arrest in Lebanon,” he added.
A Lebanese newspaper, Al-Joumhouria, had reported the two suspects identified as Rafik Mohammed Aaref, 21, and 28-year-old Mohammed Razin Shaaban, have been charged with being members of al Qaeda and had been recruited to join the organisation in 2007 by another Malaysian, whom they named as Mustapha Mansour.
Citing Lebanese security sources, the paper reported that the two Malaysians had previously been arrested in 2007 and were sentenced to jail where they met Jamal al-Badawi, who was accused of being behind the 2000 bombing of a US Navy destroyer, the USS Cole, in Yemen.
Al-Joumhouria reported that the Malaysian suspects tried to enter Syria some two months ago, through Turkey on a jihadist mission in order to carry out suicide attacks planned by a man the paper named as Abou Hassan and which it said was responsible for the entry of all jihadists to Syria.
The daily reported that the Malaysians then headed to Lebanon after they failed to enter Syria.
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