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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10  June 2011

Terrorist suspect rearrested

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Malaysia has rearrested an Indonesian who slipped back into the country after being deported for harbouring one of Southeast Asia's most wanted terror suspects, police said Friday.

Agus Salim, from Indonesia's Sumatra island, was detained on Monday at the restaurant where he works in the southern city of Johor Baru for entering the country under a false name, a senior police official said.

Salim was arrested in 2009 under Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

He was suspected of helping hide Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the alleged head of the Singapore cell of regional terror outfit Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which has links with Al--Qaeda.

Mas Selamat escaped from a Singaporean high--security prison in 2008 and got into Malaysia, where he was recaptured in 2009.

Salim was deported back to Indonesia in 2009, months after his arrest, but police found out that he re--entered Malaysia under a new name, an immigration offence, several months ago, the police official said.

"We have arrested him in 2009 because of his involvement in harbouring Mas Selamat in Johor Baru," the official told AFP. "We are sure he is (still) trying very hard to assist the JI group."

The official said Salim was working at the same restaurant where he had been employed before his 2009 arrest.

The 34-year-old man was believed to be a JI "sleeper agent" who followed instructions to supply logistics and other help to JI members in Malaysia.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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