DPM: Terror activities inspired by those with PR status

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Aug 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: Some terrorism activities seem to be inspired by Indonesians with permanent resident status in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said. 

“They are the ones who started all this,” he said, referring to bombings in Jakarta and Bali. 

Following the bomb attacks in Indonesia by the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which was said to have links with the al-Qaeda movement, Indonesian police named two Malaysians as playing key roles in the Bali blasts that killed more than 200 people. 

The two are former UTM lecturer Azahari Husin, who is said to be the bomb-maker, and Nordin Mohd Top, the executor. Indonesian police also picked up another former UTM lecturer, Shamsul Bahari Hussein, for questioning and for purportedly being an active JI member. 

Yesterday, Abdullah said he “noticed” that the terrorism activities had been inspired by Indonesians who had PR status in Malaysia.  

Among the Indonesians who had reportedly resided in Malaysia are JI founder Abu Bakar Baashir, who is now facing trial on charges of masterminding a series of terror attacks in Indonesia. He stayed in Malaysia from 1985 to 1999. Muklas alias Ali Gufron, who according to intelligence reports is the JI leader, and his predecessor Riduan Isamuddin alias Hambali, also resided in this country. 

Abdullah denied suggestions that Malaysia was a centre for an al-Qaeda regional network and that the country was harbouring terrorists. 

“Why should we? We are fighting against terrorists so how can we be harbouring them?” he told reporters yesterday after opening the 25th Asean Agriculture and Forestry meeting. 

Malaysia, he said, was doing its best to combat terrorism and “so far, I believe that we are doing well”. 

On another matter, he said Malaysia would allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to detained Acehnese asylum seekers if the international body wanted to see them.  

Abdullah said the UNHCR had, through the media, asked the Government to consider giving asylum to this group of people but the country’s policy was not to grant asylum to “this group or any other groups”. 

“But even so, their status should be given consideration and as to whether they will be granted temporary stay here, we do not know yet. This requires serious consideration,” he said. 

On Tuesday, police detained more than 200 asylum seekers – mostly from Aceh – as they tried to enter the UNHCR compound here.

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