Key arrest: Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Unit officers detaining the 34-year-old Somali, believed to be a member of Al-Shabaab terrorist group, in Selangor.
Hunt on for more Somalis
KUALA LUMPUR: The police counter terrorism division has launched a manhunt for at least five other members of the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab who entered the country as college students and tourists.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the hunt was to ensure that Malaysia did not become a training ground for militant groups.
“Malaysia has never compromised when it comes to militant activities. This (efforts to hunt terrorists) is done continuously,” he told reporters after visiting the Kamunting Prison yesterday.
“We are hunting down several individuals. Some of them are married to local women. They have not set up bases in this country but they share the ideology.”
His comments came a day after a suspected Somali terrorist belonging to the Al-Shabaab group, which is active in Africa and the Middle East, was arrested in Selangor.
The 34-year-old was also on the most wanted list Interpol.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the man was believed to have entered Malaysia using student passes two years ago and studied in a private college.
Deputy IGP Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said police were using all resources to search and detain the remaining members.
Contributed by Malaysia Police nab man linked to Somalian terrorist group By G. Prakash - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-nab-man-linked-to-somalian-terrorist-group#sthash.CzfpTtok.dpuf “We are focused on capturing these dangerous people,” he told The Star yesterday.
According to a source involved in the operation, the counter terrorism unit had been closely monitoring a group of five Al-Shabaab members who had entered the country using altered passports and signed up as students of top private colleges and public universities using fake identities and documents.
“There are strong indications that the group was trying to set up a base here to remain below surveillance.
“We believe authorities in Africa and Europe were closing in on them, forcing some members to flee to Malaysia,” the source said.
Asked why the militant group picked Malaysia, the source said the perception was that the country was “too welcoming”.
“Security at our entry points is deemed to be lax and this is luring the wrong kind of people. It is about time the systems in place are revamped,” the source said.
So far, police have found no signs to suggest that Al-Shabaab had been attempting to recruit Malaysians or forge any form of cooperation with home-grown militants who were detained recently.
The arrest of the Somali man is not believed to be linked to the arrest of 11 Malaysians for involvement with militant groups in Syria and southern Philippines.
- Contributed by Farik Zolkepli
Visas only for qualified foreign students
PETALING JAYA: Foreign students coming into the country must have the required academic qualifications before they are issued student visas, said Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) chief executive officer Mohd Yazid Abdul Hamid.
He said EMGS served as the first level of screening to ensure that only genuine students who had fulfilled the academic requirements were admitted and that the institutions that they appled for were pro–perly accredited.
“Once they have passed the academic screening, the Immigration department will conduct a security screening on the applicants,” Mohd Yazidsaid yesterday.
The EMGS is a one-stop-centre for international students and manages all aspects of their application.
This includes student passes, review of documents, compliance with academic requirements, issuance of student visas, medical screening and insurance coverage.
Mohd Yazid said records kept by EMGS served as a data bank to track the performance of the students.
“There are cases of those who abused their student visas. For such students, the colleges must submit attendance and academic results for yearly renewal of student visas.
“In this way, we can weed out visa holders who are not genuine students,” said Mohd Yazid.
He said foreign students had to achieve 80% class attendance and the minimum cummulative grade point average 2.0 to qualify for renewal of student visas.
- Sources: The Star/Asia News Network
Police nab man linked to Somalian terrorist group
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the individual was picked up by Bukit Aman’s special branch counter-terrorism division in Selangor. ― file picture
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin, had in a press statement yesterday, said the individual was picked up by Bukit Aman’s special branch counter-terrorism division in Selangor yesterday and is believed to be linked to the Somali-based Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
“He was listed under Interpol’s Red Notice wanted list for his alleged involvement with Al-Shabaab in east Africa,” the statement read.
“Police are investigating his activities in the country to identify if there were any Al-Shabaab terrorist links or members in the country or conducting activities that could jeapordise the nation’s security.”
He is being investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.
Sources say the suspect, arrested at 4pm, has been in the country for “several weeks” and are not discounting the possibility of more Al-Shabaab members in the country.
Nine individuals, aged between 55 and 22, were arrested by the counter terrorism division on April 28 for their alleged involvement in militant activities.
Three of them were picked up in Kedah and six in Selangor. Another individual was arrested in Kuala Lumpur the following day while another suspect was nabbed in the city on May 2.
They were believed to have been planning to participate in the on-going civil war in Syria. Al-Shabaab enjoys close ties with Al-Qaeda and are believed to have aided Boko Haram militants in the attack on Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja last week claiming the lives of over 200 people.
It remains unclear if the foreigner was connected to the 11 locals arrested. Sources say it is highly unlikely but police will probe the matter.
IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had, in recent days, stressed the nation’s laws were adequate to protect Malaysia from militants and warned members of militant groups not to recruit Malaysian youths to join them.
The nation’s porous borders have been highlighted since Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 after two Iranians entered the country and boarded the Malaysia Airlines plane with fake passports.
Earlier this year, police rescued several Myanmar nationals smuggled into the country by a human trafficking syndicate through Thailand.
A series of kidnappings, abduction and robberies in Sabah’s waters, and the influx of foreigners entering the state, has also irked many parties, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, despite the establishment of the multi-million ringgit Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) after the Lahad Datu incursion early last year.
- Contributed by G. Prakash MalayMailOnline
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