Malaysian cops to closely monitor JI bomb expert

KUALA LUMPUR - The focus of security authorities here will be on Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) bomb expert Taufik Abdul Halim, with the Malaysian among 350 ex-JI members to be released from Indonesian cells today.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Bukit Aman was liaising with its Indonesian counterpart to secure the full list of prisoners released.

"We will remain vigilant," he said at a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.

Taufik, 39, will return here after being incarcerated in Indonesia for 12 years.

The ex-JI members had been granted a pardon by President Joko Widodo.

Taufik is the brother-in-law of FBI's most wanted terrorist, Zulkifli Abdul Khir, better known as Marwan.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said action would be taken against Taufik if he had committed crimes in Malaysia, adding that the police would closely monitor him.

He said Malaysia would not be made use of as a base or transit point for terrorists.

"We will combat terrorism and use the force of our laws against them. Malaysia will not be a haven for terrorists or militants," he said.

Taufik was jailed in Indonesia for an attempted bombing of a shopping mall in Jakarta on Aug 1, 2001.

He is expected to arrive from Indonesia today and be placed under police custody for some time.

Taufik was also a member of local militant group Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM), responsible for murders and numerous bank robberies.