Fate of Malaysian militant uncertain

PONTIAN, Malaysia (The Star/ANN) - The decision on whether Malaysian militant Yazid Sufaat, who has direct links to the Sept 11,2001 attacks in the United States, would be freed from the Simpang Renggam prison, has yet to be finalised.

The decision on whether Malaysian militant Yazid Sufaat, who has direct links to the Sept 11,2001 attacks in the United States, would be freed from the Simpang Renggam prison, has yet to be finalised.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the ministry would leave it to the Prevention of Terrorism Board that would make a report on the detainee based on several criteria.

“I have yet to make a decision on it as the board has yet to hold its meeting to hear the case of the detainee in question.

“The board, which is expected to convene soon, will see if the detainee is behaving well while under imprisonment and whether he has changed or not before making their decision, ” he added.

It was reported by Singapore Straits Times that Yazid, 55, a US-trained biochemist whom the paper described as an “unrepentent terrorist”, is being held at the Simpang Renggam prison in Johor, where he has spent two years in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota).

The Act allows detention of a suspect without trial for two years.

The report said 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.

It also said Yazid acquired ammonium nitrate to prepare for a series of bombings in Singapore in 2000 before the plot by the Jemaah Islamiah terror network was foiled.

According to the report, Yazid attempted to cultivate and load anthrax onto weapons in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

His home in Kuala Lumpur was used by senior al-Qaeda members for meetings, it said, and at one meeting, plans to crash planes in the United States on Sept 11,2001 were discussed. The Straits Times said Yazid is the only Malaysian with links to the attacks.

Yazid, a former army captain, was first arrested in 2002 under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

He was released in 2008 after undergoing rehabilitation.

He was detained a second time in 2013 under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) for recruiting new members for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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