ALOR SETAR - Six suspected militants, one of them a former member of the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), were charged in the Sessions Court here with promoting acts of terrorism.
The former KMM member, Murad Halimmuddin Hassan, was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 2001 for trying to steal firearms from a police station in Kedah.
Murad, 49, is now a hardware shop owner.
The others charged yesterday were Murad's businessman son Abu Daud, 25; RMAF personnel Nor Azmi Jalani, 28, and Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, 29; Ali Saifuddin, 28, a wireman from Jawa Tengah, Indonesia; and Hadharami Hashim, 38, a tahfiz assistant from Sik, Kedah.
The men were jointly charged with committing the offence at a house in Pengkalan Batu Hampar, Mukim Air Putih in Pendang, near here, between Jan 30 and April 5.
The offence under Section 130G(a) of the Penal Code, is punishable under Section 120B(1) of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum 30 years' jail and a fine.
No plea was recorded when the charge was read out to the accused before Sessions judge Rusita Md Lazim.
In the same court, Murad was charged with supporting terrorism in the same house on March 29.
Upon conviction, the men could be jailed for up to 30 years or fined. Their assets could be confiscated if proven to have been used for terrorism activities.
No plea was recorded from Murad.
The court offered no bail to the accused and fixed May 31 to mention the case pending an application for the case to be transferred to the High Court.
It is learnt that Murad was a former senior member of KMM, who had been involved in conflicts in Afghanistan (June 1989), Sulawesi (November 1989) and Syria.
He is also believed to be one of the masterminds involved in the attempt to steal firearms from the Guar Cempendak police station in February 2001.
He left for Syria in August last year and returned to Malaysia in December.
Head of the Kedah prosecution unit Salim Soib @ Hamid appeared for the prosecution while Mohd Sharif Mat and Mohd Zainuri Zahir represented the accused.
The Star reported on April 7 that 17 suspected militants linked to Islamic State were arrested by Bukit Aman's Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in Kedah and the Klang Valley on April 5 for promoting terrorism in the country.
They had been targeting key government points or landmarks, including police stations and army camps, as well as vice spots.
The suspects were also believed to be planning to kidnap a few high-profile individuals.