Malaysia deports suspected terrorists, probes recruitment claims
Malaysian authorities arrested and deported 10 foreigners believed to be members of the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah and are investigating reports that the group is actively recruiting at local universities, dpa reported Tuesday.
National police chief Musa Hassan said 10 foreigners had been arrested under a local security act and deported since the beginning of the year. Musa said Monday that the suspects were allegedly trying to recruit local students.
Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for deadly attacks in South-East Asia, including the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali, which killed 202 people.
"This trend is very worrying as it shows that these militants have changed their tactics and strategies in recruiting members, especially for their activities in other countries," Musa was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.
"We need to be careful with the ideology brought in by foreigners trying to gain the support of local students," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Tuesday that police were investigating and working with university authorities to keep tabs on recruitment activities.
"This is a serious matter and cannot be viewed lightly," Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency. "We leave it to the police, who safeguard national security, to conduct a thorough investigation."
Over the past decade, Malaysian authorities have detained about 100 militant suspects. Most have been freed with officials claiming they had been rehabilitated.