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16 June 2010

Militants using Malaysia as terror base

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Foreign militants are using mainly Muslim Malaysia as a base to beef up their violent struggle and recruit new members, a senior minister said on Tuesday.

Hishammuddin Hussein, in charge of domestic security, confirmed that there were Islamic and non-Islamic militant groups operating in the country.

"Among those targeted for recruitment are students of local higher learning institutions," he was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

Hishammuddin's remarks come after Musa Hassan, inspector-general of police, on Monday said 10 foreigners had been deported for trying to recruit students to wage holy war overseas.

The militants were detained earlier this year for trying to revive the defunct Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group by attracting new members from Malaysian universities.

The regional organisation has been linked to Al-Qaeda and blamed for major attacks in Southeast Asia, including the 2002 Bali bombings.

Police have also revealed that several senior leaders of the Tamil Tiger separatist movement were using Malaysia as their logistics base, Bernama said.

Hishammuddin said Malaysia was closely monitoring selected foreigners entering the country with the help of international intelligence agencies.

"This (militancy) is an international phenomenon which involves a broad network of militant or terror groups, and we should not compromise on this matter," he told said.


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