Subject: 10 terrorists arrested in Malaysia
AbdulMutallab: Malaysia arrests two Nigerians
Malaysian authorities have arrested 10 terror suspects, including two
Nigerians, with alleged ties to Umar AbdulMutallab, the Nigerian at
the centre of the Christmas Day attempt to bomb a United States
The development is coming on the heels of the US State Department’s
denial that it had revoked AbdulMutallab’s visa.
Malaysia‘s Home Minister, Mr. Hishammuddin Hussein, who announced the
arrests Wednesday, said they were mainly foreigners linked to a global
According to The Detroit News, quoting a state-linked New Straits
Times newspaper, those arrested included two men from Nigeria, four
from Syria, and one each from Yemen and Jordan, said Mr. Syed Noh,
head of a rights group that aids people detained under Malaysia‘s
Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without
They were among 50 people arrested while attending a religious talk by
a Syrian university lecturer on January 21 at a home near Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia‘s largest city, Noh said. The others, according to
the newspaper, were later released.
The report said foreign anti-terrorism agencies told authorities that
the suspects were in Malaysia and were linked to the 23-year-old
Nigerian accused of trying to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear
during a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
But the report, according to The Detroit News, did not say how it
obtained the information or how they were linked, even as the Home
Minister refused to elaborate on why the suspects were detained, but
said they posed a “serious threat” to security.
The suspects include students at a Malaysian university, Syed Ibrahim
said. He urged the government to charge them to court or release them.
Over the past decade, Malaysian authorities have held more than 100
militant suspects, mainly alleged members of an Al-Qaeda-linked
network that has been blamed for attacks including the 2002 bombing on
Bali, Indonesia, that killed 202 people.
A top State Department official said on Wednesday that AbdulMutallab’s
visa was not revoked in order to protect a larger investigation.
The Under secretary for Management at the State Department, Mr.
Patrick Kennedy, said AbdulMutallab’s visa was not taken away at the
request of federal counterterrorism officials following concerns that
doing so would have foiled an investigation into Al-Qaeda threats
against the US.
Reuters had reported earlier in January that the State Department had
revoked AbdulMutallab’s visa.
The news agency had quoted State Department’s spokesman Mr. P.J.
Crowley, as saying that AbdulMutallab was stripped of his visa after
the attempted attack, as were an unspecified number of others
suspected of links to terrorism.
But The Detroit News on Wednesday quoted Kennedy in a testimony before
the House Committee on Homeland Security as saying, “Revocation action
would‘ve disclosed what they were doing. Allowing AbdulMutallab to
keep the visa increased chances federal investigators would be able to
get closer to apprehending the terror network he is accused of working
with, rather than simply knocking out one soldier in that effort.”
When asked about why the State Department wouldn‘t revoke the visa
despite indications he was involved in a terror plot, Kennedy
reiterated his assertion that intelligence agencies sometimes request
visas not be revoked “for the purpose of rolling up an entire network,
not just one person.”
The denial came during a hearing on Capitol Hill into the events
surrounding the Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam.
Washington politicians have focused criticism on two key areas: the
intelligence community breakdown that led to AbdulMutallab being able
to board the plane, and the handling of the suspected terrorist after