Malaysia charges former army captain and woman for terrorism and for recruiting mercenaries for Syria
(nsnbc & agencies) The state prosecutor of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has charged a former captain of the Malaysian army, who is known to have links to an Al Qaeda associated organization, and a woman for encouraging terrorism in Syria. The former captain, Yazzid Sufaat, has allegedly been recruiting mercenaries from his home in a Kuala Lumpur suburb, while Halimah Hussein has been charged for aiding and abetting Sufaat. The mercenaries were supposed to be deployed to Syria to take part in the ongoing insurgency. Sufaat is tied to a biological and chemical weapons program for Al Qaeda.
Kuala Lumpur police arrested Sufaat and Hussein on Thursday, stating that the couple were the masterminds behind a militant recruitment network. The prosecutors office has not been forthcoming with many detail, other than that their actions could have threatened public safety in Syria and that more information could not yet be disclosed due to the ongoing investigation.
The national Malaysian news agency Bernama stated on Thursday, tha unidentified sources had said, that the couple had tried to recruit young people to be trained for missions that include suicide bombings.
Sufaat has previously be detained and became known for his ties to Al Qaeda associated organizations, when he was arrested in 2001, after returning from Afghanistan. During his 2001 arrest Saufaat was under suspicion of working on a biological and chemical weapons program for Al Qaeda. Both Yazid Sufaat and Halimah Hussein face up to 30 years in prison if they are found guilty as charged.
Several Al Qaeda associated organizations are known to be operating in Northern Malaysia from where an insurgency in Southern Thailand is being supported. It remains so far unclear which of the Al Qaeda associated organizations the couple were working for, but it is not unlikely that it is one of the organizations like the HuJI, which have ties to the intelligence services of Bangladesh and the USA.