Terrorists favour Malaysia due to good air connectivity, says deputy IGP

Plainclothes policemen escorting one of the terror suspects they arrested in a raid last month. (PDRM pic)

ALOR SETAR: Malaysia’s air connectivity is the reason terrorists prefer to enter the country, using it as a transit point, before making their way to other countries, police believe.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim, however, said that police are able to detect and intercept any terrorist group’s movement.

“Airports in our country are open to all flights so it is easy for outsiders to enter here and I believe they take the opportunity to sneak in. In addition, they see they can gather here without being noticed,” he told reporters here today.

He was asked to comment on the arrest of nine individuals, including two local residents, accused of being involved in or supporting terrorist activities. Two of the foreigners were members of the Ansar Al-Shariah Al-Tunisia terrorist group operating in North Africa.

Noor Rashid said the suspects, who were detained at separate locations, were likely to have used e-mail and “underground mail” to avoid detection.

“They use different ways to communicate. Anyone who we believe may be a threat to the safety of the country will be detained because they should not be left free for fear they can influence others.

“In addition, we also cooperate well with other countries, including Japan and the United States, in monitoring activities related to terrorism,” he said.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Fuzi Harun said six Egyptians, two locals and a Tunisian were nabbed in several raids in the Klang Valley and Sarawak.

He said the arrests were made after police received a tip-off from a foreign intelligence agency regarding the presence of suspected foreign terrorist fighters who were members of the Ansar Al Shariah Al-Tunisia group.