Kuala Lumpur: Foreign militants,
including remnants of the Tamil Tigers, are using Malaysia as
their operational base and for recruiting new activists, a top
minister said on Tuesday.
Home minister Hishammuddin Hussein said here today
that militant groups, both Islamic and non-Islamic, were using
Malaysia as their operational base to step up their violent
He said these groups were also using the southeast
Asian country for their financial transactions and exchange of
information, besides recruiting people.
"Among those targeted for recruitment are students of
local higher learning institutions," the minister told
State-run news agency Bernama quoted Musa Hassan, the
Inspector-General of Police, as saying that Malaysian police
had detected the presence of several senior leaders of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who were reportedly
using Malaysia for shelter and logistic base.
Hishammuddin said the Home ministry was working
closely with local enforcement and international intelligence
agencies to share data on foreign nationals entering Malaysia
and their movements, to curb activities that could threaten
national and regional security.
The minister`s comments came after Musa said
yesterday that foreign militants in insurgent group Jemah
Islamiah (JI) were trying to revive the movement by recruiting
20 to 30 local youths, including university students. He said
JI wanted them to take part in so-called `jihad` abroad.
This discovery followed the arrest since early this
year of 10 foreign JI members who were deported from Malaysia.
"The members, who were harboured by locals, were
arrested at various locations and deported from the country,"
JI has been linked to al-Qaeda and blamed for major
attacks in Southeast Asia, including the 2002 Bali bombings
that killed 202 people.
The Home Minister said this (militancy) is an
international phenomenon which involves a broad network of
militant or terror groups, and we should not compromise on
Asked about JI members trying to recruit students into
the militant group, Hishammuddin said this was not new. "But
what is worrying is that it involves cross-border crime, which
is not a small matter."
He said his ministry and its enforcement agencies
would continue with measures to ensure that the country and
its people were safe.
Malaysian police chief Musa expressed deep concern
over the trend. He said it showed that these militants had
changed their tactics and strategies in recruiting members,
especially for their activities in other countries.
The JI, he said, had tried to get the youth to join
them as these young people were attracted to calls for `jihad`
through the `gatherings` they attended.
He said the police would monitor students attending
such gatherings that could cause upheaval and threaten
Local media reports quoted him as saying that "we need
to be careful with the ideology brought in by foreigners
trying to gain the support of local students."
The Sri Lankan government has continued with the
emergency regulations first imposed in 1983 to combat the
LTTE, who were finally defeated in May last year. Lankan
parliament has extended the state of emergency each month as
the government fears LTTE remnants could make a comeback.