Former Islamic State Commandant Arrested In Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR – A 45-year-old former commandant of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on the most-wanted list in the Middle East, was detained by the Malaysian Police Counter Terrorism unit in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 31.

The suspect, who had been part of the terrorist group operating in Syria from May 2012 to May 2014, was deported to his country of origin yesterday (Feb 6) after five days in detention for allegedly using a fake passport.

Police, who seized a large amount of money from the suspect, have yet to release more details of the operation, saying keeping the identity of the suspect under wraps is vital until the entire operation is completed.

The arrest was a result of cooperation between Malaysian police and other foreign countries that have vouched to tackle the terror group from widening its influence abroad.

Intelligence sources said the man from the Middle East who arrived in mid-January was detained at a four-star hotel near Bukit Bintang.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement today (Feb 7) confirmed the arrest, but did not link the terrorist to any group.

It is understood that the suspect had travelled to several countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South-east Asia before slipping into Malaysia.

“The Royal Malaysian Police takes a serious view of the activities of foreign terrorists attempting to use Malaysia as a transit, safe haven and base of operations.

“The success in the suspect’s arrest is the result of close cooperation between the police and foreign enforcement agencies. This cooperation will continue to eradicate and manage the threat of terrorism, be it regionally or globally,” Mr Khalid said.

About 59 Malaysians are officially known to have joined ISIS.

More than 65 have been arrested by police either on their way to Syria and Iraq or on their way back since the start of last year.



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