Fate of 2 in Guantanamo still uncertain: IGP
Published on: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The fate of two Malaysian suspected terrorists being held at the US military’s detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is still uncertain with one of them showing signs of remorse while the other still holding on to his alleged extremist views, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Fuzi Harun said.

 Mohd Farik Amin and Mohammed Nazir Lep, alleged operatives of Al-Qaeda and Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), were captured in Thailand in 2003.

 They were allegedly involved in the JW Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta that year and have been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2006.

 “We’ve been engaging our US counterpart on the matter from time to time,” Fuzi told reporters, Monday.

“We have appealed to them to release our two citizens held more 15 years already.  We have sent several letters through Wisma Putra since the previous US administration, but there’s been no response yet on their status, on whether they will be returned in the near future. We can’t guarantee anything but efforts are ongoing.” 

 There were reports speculating the two could be tried in the US and made to serve the initial part of their sentence there and the remainder in Malaysia.

“We will wait for an update from the US government on this though one of them, we have been informed, has shown signs of repentance, but the other one is still hard, so it’s up to the US to charge or return them home,” said Fuzi, who said he could not remember who was still showing signs of extremism.

In early 2017, Malaysian police’s Counter-Terrorism Division Chief Dato’ Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Mohd Farik was an explosives expert who was among those responsible for channelling funds for the JW Marriott Hotel attack.

Mohammed Nazir specialised in hijacking and targeted American interests in the region, he said.

“They are high-ranking members with a great deal of influence,” said Ayob Khan then.

“There is a high possibility they might return to their militant ways and join other groups,” Ayob Khan said.

There was also a report in 2017 citing a Malaysian intelligence source as saying that the two were unlikely to be sent back home.

“It is a long and difficult process,” the source reportedly said.

“Both countries must agree on the method of transfer and a suitable location as well as duration to hold these prisoners in Malaysia.” - Zam Yusa




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