Malaysian police arrest suspected Abu Sayyaf leader, seven others

Malaysian police. (File photo by AFP)
Updated 03 September 2017
0

Malaysian police arrest suspected Abu Sayyaf leader, seven others

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police arrested a suspected leader and seven members of the Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf Islamist group in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, a police source said on Sunday.
Police detained Hajjar Abdul Mubin — otherwise known as Abu Asrie — in the Wednesday raid, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media on the case.
Hajjar, a Filipino, was arrested along with one other Filipino and six Malaysians from the Borneo state of Sabah, which shares a porous maritime border with the Philippines.
The arrests were first reported by the English daily, The Star.
The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for bombings, beheadings, extortion and kidnap-for-ransom in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines.
The arrests were the latest in an ongoing crackdown on militancy by Muslim-majority Malaysia. More than 250 people have been arrested between 2013 and 2016 for suspected militancy linked to Daesh.
Governments in Southeast Asia have been worried over the possible expansion of Daesh in the region as battle-hardened militants return home after the collapse of their self-styled caliphate in the Middle East.
Militants loyal to Daesh seized large parts of Marawi city in the southern Philippines in May. Some 620 militants, 136 soldiers and police and 45 civilians were killed in more than 100 days of fighting.


New Zealand orders top-level inquiry into mosque massacres

Updated 11 min 32 sec ago
0

New Zealand orders top-level inquiry into mosque massacres

  • "One question we need to answer is whether or not we could or should have known more," Ardern said
  • Ardern ruled out New Zealand re-introducing the death penalty for accused gunman Brenton Tarrant

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday ordered an independent judicial inquiry into whether police and intelligence services could have prevented the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15.
Ardern said a royal commission -- the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law -- was needed to find out how a single gunman was able to kill 50 people in an attack that shocked the world.
"It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it," she told reporters.
New Zealand's spy agencies have faced criticism in the wake of the attack for concentrating on the threat from Islamic extremism.
Instead, the victims were all Muslims and the massacre was allegedly carried out by a white supremacist fixated on the belief that there was an Islamist plot to "invade" Western countries.
"One question we need to answer is whether or not we could or should have known more," Ardern said.
"New Zealand is not a surveillance state ... but questions need to be answered."
Ardern ruled out New Zealand re-introducing the death penalty for accused gunman Brenton Tarrant, 28, who was arrested minutes after the attack on the mosques and has been charged with murder.
She said details of the royal commission were being finalised, but it would be comprehensive and would report in a timely manner.
It will cover the activities of intelligence services, police, customs, immigration and any other relevant government agencies in the lead-up to the attack.
The gunman livestreamed the attack online, although New Zealand has outlawed the footage as "objectionable content".
Ardern reiterated her believe it should not be aired.
"That video should not be shared. That is harmful content," she said when questioned about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showing excerpts of the footage at campaign rallies for local elections this month.
Erdogan had angered both Wellington and Canberra with campaign rhetoric about anti-Muslim Australians and New Zealanders being sent back in "coffins" like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a World War I battle.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters travelled to Istanbul to meet Erdogan and address an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Peters said OIC members were full of praise for the support New Zealand had offered its small, tight-knit Muslim community in the wake of the killings.
"A number of them were weeping and sobbing at the demonstration (of support) by non-Muslim New Zealand towards the Muslim victims," he told reporters.
"It was dramatic and I was told by countless ministers that they've never seen anything of that type."
The body of an Indian student killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks, meanwhile, was returned Monday to her grieving family in Kochi, where relatives remembered a bright young woman dedicated to her studies.
Ansi Alibava, 25, was the first of at least five Indians shot dead on March 15 to be repatriated.
The family planned to hold a funeral ceremony for the masters student in their nearby hometown of Kodungallur.