KUALA LUMPUR - The former National Service trainer detained for suspected links with the Islamic State (IS) terror group had plans to marry a teacher in a South-East Asian country as part of his grand plan to find another "safe" route to Syria.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the 30-year-old man, who worked as a trainer at a camp in Kuantan, was given the task of securing a new passage for Malaysian militants.
"We believe that he planned to marry the woman before finally heading to fight in Syria.
"We are investigating further to discover the extent of his involvement with the militants," Khalid said in a statement here yesterday.
Initial investigations, said the IGP, revealed that the man was influenced into joining the militants after communicating with Malaysians who had been detained for their involvement with IS.
"We believe he was in contact via Facebook with those previously arrested," Khalid said.
The man, he added, was believed to have contacted former Internal Security Act detainee Mohd Lotfi Ariffin right until his death on Sept 14.
"We suspected that he was communicating with Mohd Lotfi to gain information on ways to secure safe passage to Syria via Turkey," Khalid said.
He added that the man had been detained under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act.
After presenting awards for the best police stations, Khalid told reporters that those planning to join the militants in Syria were trying to use other ASEAN countries as transit points to fool authorities.
"The suspect (nabbed at the KLIA on Wednesday) was planning to fly to Brunei before going on to Turkey to enter Syria.
"This is one of the ways they were trying to avoid detection as usually, they would fly straight to Turkey or the Middle East.
"But do not worry. We are on our toes," he said.
In a statement, National Service director-general Datuk Mohmed Asri Yusof said the man had resigned from his position on Oct 15.
"We have already contacted the police to help in the investigation," he said, adding that trainers should be a good example to the trainees.
"It is impossible for the department to be responsible for any trainer who is no longer with us," he said.