See More on Facebook

Culture and society

ISIS plans to use Malaysia as safe haven

Kuala Lumpur says foreign militants eyeing Malaysia as safe haven.


Written by

Updated: March 11, 2019

Malaysian police said yesterday that it has uncovered a plan by foreign militants to use the country as a “safe haven” transit and logistics centre, following the collapse of terrorist outfit Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East.

The militants plan to marry local women to get spousal visas to enable them to live in Malaysia, or to remain in the country by using education facilities, or by being involved in business, Malaysia’s police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement yesterday.

His statement accompanied the announcement of the deportation of seven foreigners, some of whom he said were planning to launch large-scale attacks in several countries.

Two Malaysians were also nabbed by anti-terror police in the raids last month.

Inspector-General of Police Fuzi said that investigations by the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division found that the foreign terrorists were trying to make Malaysia a base.

“We view seriously the infiltration of foreign terrorist fighters in the country due to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” he said.

“These foreign terrorist fighters could also set up base here to attack another country, or by even launching attacks in Malaysia,” he added.

Malaysian police have in recent years captured foreign militants who were using Malaysia, including Sabah, as a transit point between the Middle East and the southern Philippines – the home base of several militant groups, some of which are affiliated to ISIS.

Tan Sri Fuzi said that the suspected militants have been deported to their countries of origin and blacklisted to prevent them from entering Malaysia again.

They included five men who admitted to being members of Egypt’s Ikhwanul Muslimin, or Muslim Brotherhood.

Rights groups say they are concerned that members of the Muslim Brotherhood may face possible torture in Egypt, as it is branded a terrorist group in the country.

The police chief said a Tunisian and an Egyptian, who were members of Ansar al-Sharia al-Tunisia, a group listed as a terrorist outfit by the United Nations, were among those deported.

“This terror group is suspected of being involved in plans to launch large-scaled attacks in other countries,” he said in the statement, referring to the Tunisian group. He did not say which countries were being targeted in the planned attacks.

“Three suspects – a Malaysian man and woman, together with an Egyptian man – were nabbed in Serian, Sarawak, for concealing information on the presence of Ansar al-Shariah al-Tunisia’s operatives who transited in Malaysia,” Mr Fuzi said. “They protected them and acted as a facilitator in providing lodging, jobs and purchasing of flight tickets.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

10 dead in Delhi in violent protests against controversial citizenship law, in the midst of Trump’s visit

Witnesses said Delhi police, who were outnumbered, did little to stop the violence, mostly standing by while groups pelted each other with stones, and vandalised vehicles and property. At least 10 people, including a cop, have been killed in India’s capital city Delhi since Monday (Feb 24), in a worrying outbreak of communal violence between those protesting a controversial citizenship law and groups who oppose them. The violence, marked by arson and stone pelting, continued on Tuesday less than 20km from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump were holding talks. Even journalists reporting on the spot were attacked and forced to delete pictures and footage. More than 100 people have been injured, accordin


By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020

Culture and society

Malaysia political turmoil: Search for new government continues as King meets 132 MPs in second day of interviews

The unprecedented move for the King to interview MPs individually instead of meeting party leaders appears to be in line with Dr Mahathir’s plan to form a grand coalition across the political spectrum. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong continues the search for Malaysia’s new government on Wednesday (Feb 26) by interviewing 132 MPs to see whether they back interim premier Mahathir Mohamad to continue leading the country. This will complete interviews of all 222 parliamentarians after those from the opposition were asked on Tuesday who they wanted as prime minister, or if they preferred a snap election. Those heading to the palace on Wednesday are from the now collapsed Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. The Straits Times understands that those still in


By The Straits Times
February 26, 2020

Culture and society

Mahathir made caretaker PM after Malaysia’s King accepts his resignation

After his resignation, the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition saw the departure of dozens of lawmakers that left it short of a majority in Parliament. Just hours after submitting his resignation to Malaysia’s King on Monday (Feb 24), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was made caretaker Prime Minister. The King accepted Tun Dr Mahathir’s resignation, but appointed him interim Prime Minister, Chief Secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali said in a statement. Dr Mahathir will continue to run the country’s administration until a new prime minister and Cabinet are appointed, he added. All ministerial appointments were also cancelled with effect from Monday as a result of the prime minister’s resignation, the chief secretary said in a separate state


By The Straits Times
February 25, 2020

Culture and society

Vietnamese advised to avoid travel to coronavirus-hit areas in South Korea, flights not banned yet

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea has recommended Vietnamese citizens to avoid travel to areas affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and places vulnerable to the disease. The warning was made given the complex development of the COVID-19 in the RoK. Vietnamese citizens were also advised to keep a close watch and follow instructions of local agencies to prevent the illness. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK to work with local agencies to learn more about the situation, keep in touch with Vietnamese citizens in the country, establish a hotline and be ready to take protection measures when necessary. According to the embassy, as o


By Viet Nam News
February 24, 2020

Culture and society

Singdollar declines to near 3-year low on coronavirus fears

 Fall comes amid Asia-wide forex sell-off after South Korea infection spike, two deaths in Japan. The Singapore dollar fell along with most Asian currencies on concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The local currency fell to its lowest level against the United States dollar since May 2017 at one point yesterday, before recouping some of the losses. It slid about 1 per cent to as low as S$1.4083 to the greenback, before paring losses to trade 0.3 per cent lower. South Korea’s won sank more than 1 per cent to 1,201.95 to the dollar. The baht, the most sensitive in Asia to tourism, dropped 0.7 per cent to 31.406 to the dollar. The sell-off in the region’s foreign exchange (FX) markets followed a spike in confirmed infections in South


By The Straits Times
February 21, 2020

Culture and society

China revokes press cards of 3 WSJ journalists in Beijing

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday. The press cards of three Wall Street Journal journalists who are based in Beijing will be revoked from Wednesday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. “The Chinese people do not welcome media that use racially discriminatory languages and maliciously slander and attack China,” Geng told an online press briefing Wednesday. On Feb 3, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” by Professor Walter Russell Mead of the Bard College, which smeared the efforts of the Chinese government and p


By China Daily
February 20, 2020