Malaysia acts to block Jemaah Islamiyah followers

Abu Bakar Bashir'

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is taking measures to block entry to followers of jailed Indonesian terrorist Abu Bakar Bashir, home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said Malaysia was stepping up cooperation with Indonesia and exchanging information between the immigration authorities of both countries.

He said Abu Bakar had more than 300 followers serving sentences in Indonesia and pointed out that in 2014 the preacher had appealed to his supporters to declare allegiance to the Islamic State network.

Abu Bakar, former leader of the now-disbanded Jemaah Islamiyah network, has been blamed for a bombing in Bali in 2002 which killed 200 people and a bomb attack in Jakarta the following year. He is currently serving a 15-year jail term from 2011.

Malaysia was exchanging various forms of information including finger prints or biometrics so that those of Abu Bakar’s followers who are released will not slip into the country.

Zahid said Malaysia would also exchange intelligence on de-radicalisation methods. Police were also monitoring religious schools and cooperating with local religious authorities to curb the spread of IS ideology.