Bukit Aman: Terror advisory issued by Japanese embassy routine, not a threat

KUALA LUMPUR: The terrorism threat travel advisory released by the Japanese embassy to its citizens in Malaysia was a routine notice, says Bukit Aman.

Bukit Aman Special Branch director Comm Datuk Zamri Yahya said so far there has not been any information on a possible terrorist threat in the country.

"The warning issued by the Japanese embassy to its citizens in Malaysia on the possibility of a terrorist attack in Southeast Asia was a travel advisory.

"These advisory notices are usually issued by an embassy or high commission for its citizens who are in foreign countries.

"The warnings are issued based on a threat assessment done by the country (who is issuing the warning).

"In this context, there is a possibility of a terrorist threat in the region (Southeast Asia)," he said when contacted on Monday (Sept 13).

So far, only the Japanese embassy in Kuala Lumpur has issued such a warning while other embassies and high commissions have not done so, he added.

"The travel advisory issued by the Japanese embassy was a routine measure in reminding Japanese citizens in the region to be careful, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

"The advisory might also be connected to the latest development in Afghanistan after the Taliban has risen to power," Comm Zamri said.

He added however that Special Branch, through the Counter Terrorism Unit, will continue to monitor any possible development and take appropriate actions.

Earlier on Monday, the Japanese embassy in Kuala Lumpur had confirmed that a warning has been issued to its citizens in Malaysia over possible terrorist threats in Southeast Asia.

The advisory was issued to all of its citizens in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar to stay away from religious facilities and other crowded areas.

According to Bernama, an official from the embassy said the advisory was issued following an instruction from Tokyo.

The official said currently approximately 31,000 Japanese nationals reside in Malaysia.

The warning cited intelligence reports and that there could be possible attacks on houses of worship and places of large gatherings in the region.

Meanwhile, Wisma Putra said that it has taken note of the security advisory and has communicated it with the relevant Malaysian authorities.

“Our security agencies, in particular PDRM, are currently assessing the situation very carefully,” it said in a statement on Monday.

Wisma Putra gave its assurance that Malaysia continues to strengthen cooperation in the security field, including in counter-terrorism efforts with its partners globally.

“Sharing of intelligence and best practices are important components of this cooperation.

“In respect of the aforementioned advisory, the ministry has instructed the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo to be in close communication with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan,” said the statement.

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