News / Asia

No Confirmed Link Between Malaysia Terror Suspects and Christmas Attack

Reports that a group of terror suspects arrested in Malaysia have ties to a Nigerian suspected in last month's attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner have not been confirmed. 

Malaysia Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced Wednesday that police had arrested several suspected terrorists.  He said they were mainly foreigners and linked to an international terrorist network. 

He also said the arrests were based on cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies and the group is being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial.

Beyond that few details are available. 

The local media has reported the suspects were associated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to detonate a bomb during a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. James Chin, political science professor with Monash University in Malaysia, says this is just speculation.

"Right now that is not official.  That is something that was written by a journalist, as far as I know," he said. "The minister has not confirmed these stories.  What is clear is that these groups of people were very young, and if I am not mistaken one or two of them were actually registered as children in Malaysia."

A human-rights group says the suspects include four men from Syria, two from Nigeria and one each from Yemen and Jordan.  It says they were among 50 people arrested by police while attending a religious talk by a Syrian university lecturer on January 21 at a home near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.  The others were later released.

Professor Chin discredits reports they were planning an attack on foreigners at Borneo resorts.

"There has never been a terrorist attack in Malaysia," he said. "Most of the terrorism as we see in this part of the world comes straight to Indonesia, Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines.  However we do know that various jihadist groups in the region have used Malaysia as transit point, probably to plan and for logistical purposes."

Over the past decade, Malaysian authorities have held more than 100 militant suspects, mainly alleged members of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been blamed for attacks including the 2002 bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali that killed 202 people.

The Home Minister refused to provide further details, saying it might jeopardize investigations.  
 

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid