KUALA LUMPUR — A man and two women were picked up by police last night (Nov 21) for allegedly being involved in terrorism, said Malaysia’s national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar.
The inspector-general of police said the arrests were made in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor by the force’s counter-terrorism division.
Mr Khalid, in a statement, said the three suspects aged between 28 and 34 were believed to be linked with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (Isis).
“The first suspect, a woman, is the wife of an earlier suspected terrorist charged in court on November 11,” Mr Khalid said.
The second suspect was an event manager in Kuala Lumpur, while the male suspect was an executive assistant.
“All three suspects are believed to have been involved witth ISIS via Facebook,” he said.
Mr Khalid said the three were also found to have been involved in gathering funds, which was used to send Malaysians to join Isis in Syria.
“All three have been arrested to facilitate investigations under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012,” Mr Khalid said.
Yesterday, a third Malaysian was charged at the Sepang Sessions Court with supporting the ISIS terrorist group.
Mohamad Fauzee Ahmad allegedly entered Syria between June 29 and Sep 18 to lend support to terror activities involving firearms and explosives.
The 43-year-old was reportedly seen as advancing a religious struggle in Syria.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in jail, or face a fine and forfeiture of assets used in the commission of the offences under Section 130J(1)(b) of the Penal Code.
Judge Nor Haffizah Mohd Salim reportedly set January 15 for mention. DPP Ishak Mohd Yusoff prosecuted the case.
Fauzee is the third person to be arrested upon returning from Syria, where ISIS is operating.
The other two arrested and charged were Muhammad Fauzi Misrak, 32, and Mohammad Na’Im Abd Rashid, 26.
They were reportedly charged on Nov 11. Fauzi’s case is due for mention on Dec 19 while Na’Im’s case is on Dec 15.
The duo had allegedly fought for ISIS between Dec 13 last year and July 14.
They were arrested with 12 others between Oct 15 and Oct 17.
On Tuesday, The Malaysian Insider reported that at least five ISIS militants had returned to Malaysia, but lack of proof was holding back police from arresting them.
According to a senior intelligence source, under Sosma, there were a number of boxes which police needed to tick.
“Getting statements from sources in the Middle East to confirm that a Malaysian citizen was there fighting alongside ISIS forces is insufficient,” the official said.
“Police must build a strong case before a Malaysian suspect who fought alongside Isis forces in the Middle East can be charged in court here.”
On Monday, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told Parliament that Malaysian ISIS fighters were returning to spread militant ideology in the country.
He said police checks showed that those who returned were not driven by disillusionment or the desire to surrender to the Malaysian authorities, but to influence and recruit others.
“The police are monitoring and they know, those who opted to return are doing so because they want to influence other Malaysians to join their cause, regardless if they are Muslims or not.”
39 Malaysians have been officially identified as being involved with Isis in Syria, whose aim is to set up an Islamic caliphate in the region.
The New Straits Times, however, reported that there were 45 Malaysians in Syria and 15 in Iraq.
It also reported that police may have difficulty in tracing exactly how many have returned as their departure from Malaysia to Syria was not properly tracked.
Between January and June this year, police arrested 23 people in various parts of Malaysia over alleged links to the terror group.
The Malaysians fighting alongside Isis forces in the Middle East were influenced to take up the struggle via social media, intelligence sources previously said.
Some, like former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Lotfi Ariffin who was killed in Syria, had not only posted about his activities with the militants on Facebook, but had issued call-to-action messages, too.
To date, five Malaysians have been killed in action in Syria. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER