Malaysia jails Singapore's most wanted militant for 2 years

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Malaysia on Wednesday jailed an Islamic militant wanted for plotting terrorism acts in Singapore for two years under a security law.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said Mas Selamat, who was captured in Malaysia on April 1, more than a year after he fled from a high security prison in Singapore, has been jailed for two years under the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without a trial.

”For the time being he will be detained in Malaysia,” he told reporters, ”because we need to know more information.”

Mas Selamat is believed to be a key member of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group which aspires to establish a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia through violent means. Singapore has accused him of plotting to hijack a plane and crash it into Changi airport.

”He is a threat to national security that is why he is under arrest,” Najib added.

He skirted a question about moves to hand over Mas Selamat to Singapore, only saying, ”The authorities are in close contact with each other. Singapore expects us to detain him.”

The official news agency Bernama quoted unnamed sources as saying that any discussion on extradition of the alleged terrorist would be towards the end of his imprisonment.

”While under detention, Mas Selamat will be undergoing a rehabilitation program which will include debating with religious experts on Islam,” one of the sources was quoted as saying.

Another suspected JI member, Abdul Matin, who was arrested around the same time as Mas Selamat in Malaysia’s southernmost state of Johor which borders Singapore, has also been slapped with a two-year detention order under the ISA, according to Bernama.

Meanwhile, Bernama said Johar Hassan, a villager who rented out his house in Johor to Mas Selamat, has been placed under restricted residence.

He is required to report to the nearest police station periodically and is not allowed to leave his house at night. He also needs to get permission to leave his district.

Source : Kyodo News

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