KUALA LUMPUR: Militant Yazid Sufaat has been freed after serving two years in prison under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota).
He was freed from the Simpang Renggam detention centre yesterday afternoon, said Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
“His release, which was decided by the Prevention of Terrorism Board, requires him to wear an electronic monitoring device and placed under house arrest, ” he said.
Sources said Yazid was also required to remain within the Bandar Ampang area in Hulu Langat and he must report at the Ampang police station twice a week.
“He can only leave the designated area with written permission from the Selangor police chief, ” the sources added.
It was reported that Yazid, 55, a US-trained biochemist and described as an “unrepentant terrorist”, was held at the Simpang Renggam prison in Johor for two years under Pota.
Pota allows for the detention of a suspect without trial for two years.
Yazid, who has been jailed three times in the past 17 years for terrorism-related activities, once attempted to produce weapons of mass destruction for al-Qaeda.
Reports also said that Yazid acquired four tonnes of ammonium nitrate to prepare for a series of bombings in Singapore in 2000 before the plot by the Jemaah Islamiah terror network was foiled.
He had attempted to cultivate and load anthrax onto weapons in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
It was reported that his home in Kuala Lumpur was also used by senior al-Qaeda members for their meetings.
In one meeting, they discussed plans to crash planes in the United States on Sept 11,2001.
It was reported that Yazid was the only Malaysian with direct links to the attacks.
A former army captain, Yazid was first arrested in 2002 under the Internal Security Act. He was released in 2008 after undergoing rehabilitation and showed signs of “remorse” and “repentance”.
However, he was detained for a second time in 2013 under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), the legislation that replaced the ISA, for recruiting new members for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
This led to a four-year jail sentence in Tapah prison.
In December 2017, Yazid was rearrested under Pota after the authorities found that he had been recruiting fellow inmates for al-Qaeda while in jail.