Seven foreigners were among eight men arrested by Malaysian officers on suspicion of involvement in Southeast Asian recruitment efforts by a terror cell linked to a Yemen-based Salafi extremist group, Malaysia’s police chief announced Saturday.
The arrests were carried out during coordinated raids in Perlis, Kuala Lumpur and Johor on Sept. 24, Police Inspector-General Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement. Six of the foreigners were students at an Islamic school located in the northern state of Perlis, Fuzi said.
The arrests by counter-terrorist police were made “following an intelligence report obtained by the police regarding efforts by a Salafi Jihadist terror group in Yemen to establish a school in the Southeast Asian region to propagate Salafi Jihadism ideology,” Fuzi said.
Five of the suspects came from the same European country while a sixth suspect was a citizen of a country in the Americas. He did not elaborate, but said the eight suspects ranged from 24 to 38 years old and that most of them, based on information shared by foreign intelligence, were linked in their home countries to the so-called Islamic State (IS) organization or other extremist groups.
A former student of the school and a former member of its faculty were among those arrested, Fuzi said. He did not disclose the school’s name.
Full story: BenarNews
Hadi Azmi and Ali Nufael
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