Friday, July 3, 2009

Malaysia detains terror suspects

Malaysian police have detained three terror suspects under a tough security law for allegedly trying to revive the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant group. The trio, aged between 43 and 53, are believed to have met with Singaporean militant Mas Selamat bin Kastari, who was captured in Malaysia's south in April after escaping from detention in Singapore. Mas Selamat is the head of the Singapore cell of JI, an underground group linked to Al-Qaeda and blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing and other bloody attacks in Southeast Asia.

Rights groups condemned the arrests, made under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial. The ISA, which dates back to the British colonial era, when it was used against communist insurgents, has been used against suspected terrorists as well as government opponents.

Prior to the latest arrests, the Home Ministry said in parliament last week that there are 12 people being held under the ISA for alleged militant activities and falsifying documents. Half of them are foreigners. The 12 were among 100 people who have been detained under the security law since 2004, according to the ministry.

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