Malaysia: JI Veterans Helping Radicals Go to Syria, Deputy Minister Says

BenarNews Staff

2015-10-23
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151023-MY-jazlan-1000 Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed (center) poses with officials from INTERPOL and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) during a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on global piracy, armed robbery and maritime security, Sept. 14, 2015.
AFP

Formerly incarcerated members of Southeast Asian and Malaysian Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), are helping Malaysians travel to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist groups, a senior government official said Friday.

Newly formed militants cells have “established links with former JI and Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) detainees who provide assistance in securing the route to the battle grounds in Syria,” according to the state-run Bernama news agency’s account of a speech given by Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed in Beijing.

“He said these groups were also responsible to initiate links between the new Malaysian arrivals with IS and other militant organizations based in Syria, namely Jabhat Al Nusrah (JAN) and Ajnad Al Sham (AAS),” Bernama reported on Nur Jazlan’s speech at the China-ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation meeting.

However, the news report did not make clear whether the new cells were located inside Malaysia.

In his speech, Nur Jazlan Mohamed said 128 people “linked to ‘Jihad’ activities in Iraq and Syria” had been arrested in Malaysia, and 69 Malaysians had reportedly gone to the Middle East to join IS.

Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group in Southeast Asia, was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, the 2003 car bombing of the Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed 12, and 2005 suicide bombings in Bali that killed 22. Many JI operatives were arrested and jailed in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

According to P. Sundramoorthy, a criminologist and associate professor at the University of Science, Malaysia (USM) in Penang, al-Qaeda implanted itself in Malaysian through JI long ago, but now IS has emerged as a new threat to national security.

"Similar to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS) ideology is also posing a grave threat to the country’s security, although many of us have yet to understand how serious the threat is,” Sundramoorthy told BenarNews.

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