North African man suspected of links with ISIS arrested in Malaysia and deported
The 31-year-old is allegedly linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The suspect from North Africa entered Malaysia using a student visa which he obtained illegally from a local syndicate.
He was arrested early this month and deported on Wednesday, liberal news portal Malaysian Insider reported.
He is also high on the wanted list in his home country, the report added, and had been staying in Malaysia for more than a year.
The suspect entered the country in March last year and registered himself at a Klang Valley university.
The news portal reported that even though he was listed as a student, he did not attend any English classes.
Instead, he was found to be working at a restaurant.
Police said the suspect managed to avoid detection until recently when information-sharing between Malaysia and the African country, which police declined to name, indicated his presence.
Based on the information, the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division tracked him down and arrested him.
He was deported for not having valid travel documents on him.
The news portal added that Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed the arrest.
IGP Khalid said that before entering Malaysia, the suspect was detained for two years in his home country for terror-related activities.
He left for Syria in 2013 to join ISIS but was arrested when he tried to enter Turkey a year later.
Police are also trying to identify the syndicate behind the forged documentation, the report added.
Meanwhile, a US Department of State report said that Malaysia needs to improve its record of prosecuting terrorists as half of those arrested for involvement in terror networks were released without being charged.
The US Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, released yesterday, commended the country's anti-terrorism legislation to curb the influence of ISIS but said it was effective only in theory
This article was first published on June 21, 2015.
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