290 foreigners picked up in second phase of large-scale terror ops in Malaysia

CYBERJAYA - A total of 290 foreigners, including nine women, were detained during the second phase of the large-scale joint operation led by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division.

Focusing on Neo Cyber, Biz Avenue II and Lingkaran Cyber Point Barat here, the operation, which started at 9pm on Tuesday and ended in the wee hours yesterday, saw 98 private and public university students among those detained.

The foreigners were from several countries, including Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sudan, Indonesia, Libya and Nigeria.

Division head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said those detained were taken to the Sepang police district headquarters to be screened using the Interpol Foreign Terrorist Fighters list, Counter Terrorist list and Special Branch Lookup list, along with databases of the Immigration Department, National Registration Department and Education Malaysia Global Services.

"A total of 57 foreigners did not have valid documents and had overstayed.

"The remaining detainees were released once their documents were verified as valid," he added.

While they did not discover any terror links among the foreigners detained, DCP Ayob said the division would still investigate further.

"We have to take proactive measures because these people are from high risk countries in the Middle East like Syria and Yemen," he said.

He added that police personnel were equipped with radionuclide identification devices (RID) during the operation.

"Eight backpacks, eight handheld devices and 95 pagers have been provided to the police for this purpose," said DCP Ayob.

Atomic Energy Licensing Board director-general Hamrah Mohd Ali, who also took part in the raid, said these devices were capable of detecting gamma rays and neutron rays.

"This device, called RadEye, will also be used at the Sea Games to detect radioactive materials," he said.

Tuesday's operation was a follow-up to the first phase of the operation, which was conducted in the city centre near Jalan Masjid India on Sunday.

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