39 Malaysians detained in Syria want to come home

Principal assistant director of Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Anti-Terrorist Division Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty-nine of the 65 Malaysians detained in Syria on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities have contacted the police saying they want to come home.

The principal assistant director of Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter Terrorism (E8) Division, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, said they included 10 men, 12 boys and six girls.

“They have contacted us and said they want to return to Malaysia.

“However, this involves a lot of parties and we need to gather them in one place.

“We believe that this is only a small number of those who want to come back and the number will increase,” he told reporters at a breaking of fast event organised by the Bukit Aman Special Branch E8 Division here yesterday evening.

Ayob Khan said bringing them home involves policies and the decision on the matter will be made by the government.

“They are in three different locations in Syria, including Al-Hasakah and Idlib, and some want to come home because their husbands had died and for other reasons.

“Some of the detainees contacted us directly and some through intermediaries earlier during Ramadan,” he said.

In October last year, the police brought home a Malaysian woman and her two children – a boy and a girl – who were stranded in Syria after her husband, who was an Islamic State member, was killed in battle.