KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Malaysia on Monday confirmed it had arrested a man accused of recruiting students for the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror organisation, but played down the threat posed by the group.
"It is not something so critical that we should ring warning bells," Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said following the arrest of 28-year-old Mohamad Fadzullah Abdul Razak last Thursday.
"And trust me, when we actually arrested that particular individual that was after many months of monitoring his movement," the minister said on the sidelines of a regional security conference in Kuala Lumpur.
"I don't think it is so widespread that it is something that we have to be really, really concerned and worried about."
However FBI assistant director for international operations Joseph Demarest said the organisation was deeply concerned over this type of home-grown militancy.
"It is the affiliated groups (in the Asian region) that we are very concerned about and ... the home-grown threat," he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.
"The home-grown threat ... the radicalisation done over the Internet. So it's the smaller group, the individuals that we may not know about, these are the top concerns at least for the FBI."
Newspaper reports said on the weekend that Mohamad Fadzullah, an engineer, was being held under the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
Authorities have said that Islamic militants are trying to revive Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian terror outfit, by attracting new members from Malaysian universities.
The group is blamed for a string of major attacks in the region, including the 2002 Bali bombings. --AFP