: The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have detained 45 individuals categorised as Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) as a result of its proactive action in launching an operation to track down and arrest them as at Oct 6.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said those detained were suspected of being members of various terrorist groups worldwide.
He said the proactive move was taken based on intelligence received that Daesh elements from various countries, who previously operated in Iraq and Syria, had left these countries after their group had lost a major portion of the areas controlled by them previously.
He said that all of them had been directed to infiltrate into various countries worldwide to launch attacks on behalf of Daesh.
"The intelligence obtained had confirmed that there were foreign terrorist groups merging with the Daesh groups whether in Southeast Asia or at the global level such as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jamaatul Mujahideen who directed their members to infiltrate into Malaysia and launch attacks in the country," he said in a statement here today.
"Out of the 45 FTFs detained, nine were suspected of being involved with the ASG terrorist group, three were suspected to be involved in the Fetullah Turkey terrorist group (the group listed as terrorists) by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
"Another individual was suspected to be involved with the Albanian terrorist group which has links with the Daesh while one more individual was suspected of being involved with the Jamaatul Mujahidden Bangladesh terrorist group," he said.
Mohamad Fuzi said the remaining 31 individuals were FTF from various nationalities suspected of being involved with the Daesh group including three FTF who were Iraqi nationals who were Daesh commanders in southern Iraq.
He said the action taken against them were that 13 suspects were charged in court under Chapter VIA - offences linked to terrorism, Penal Code and investigation according to procedures under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
"Twelve suspects had been deported to their countries of origin for follow-up action by the relevant authorities while one suspect had been slapped with a detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) 2015," he said.
Mohamad Fuzi said seven individuals had been released while another 12 suspects were still under police investigation.
"ASG terrorists who entered Malaysia are suspected of planning to launch attacks in this country while other FTF elements ave infiltrated into the country whether to seek protection, to collect funds, launch attacks in this country or to turn Malaysia as an operational base for them to launch attacks on third countries," he said.
He said the success of the PDRM in the operation to prevent this was the result of close cooperation with intelligence agencies and foreign enforcement agencies in terms of exchanging intelligence information.
Mohamad Fuzi said the PDRM would continue to monitor and take preventive action on the presence of foreign terrorist elements to ensure that any attempt to launch attacks in Malaysia by the FTF could be repulsed.
"Efforts to tackle the threats posed by FTF terrorist elements are not simple as they need cooperation between the PDRM and foreign enforcement and intelligence agencies.
"If these threats are not tackled effectively, they can jeopardise security and public order in Malaysia," he added.