Malaysian militants unlikely to leave Guantanamo

Jan 8, 2017
The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, on March 6, 2013. Photo by Reuters
The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, on March 6, 2013. Photo by Reuters

Malaysian militants Mohd Farik Amin and Mohammed Nazir Lep are unlikely to be transferred out of Guantanamo Bay to Malaysia, reported The Star Online.

The news portal quoted intelligence sources who ruled out the possibility.

It was previously reported that US president Barack Obama planned to transfer about 18 more detainees after announcing that four prisoners were being sent to Saudi Arabia.

The group would be from those held at Guantanamo for more than a decade.

A military source had said 22 detainees were being prepared for transfer before Jan 20.

“It is a long and difficult process. Both countries must agree on the method of transfer and a suitable location as well as duration to hold these prisoners in Malaysia,” the Malaysian intelligence source was quoted as saying by the portal.

It was also reported that the Obama administration was looking at charging and sentencing the pair in a US military court to a certain period of time and the remainder of the term would be served in Malaysia.

The source said the problem arose as Malaysia did not recognise the authority of the military court and the possibility of detaining them under the Prevention of Crime Act which America did not agree with.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head Deputy Comm Ayob Khan said the duo were high-ranking members with “a great deal of influence”.

“There is a high possibility they might return to their militant ways and join other groups especially the Islamic State (IS),” he said.

Both men have been reported to be members of Jemaah Islamiah and Al-Qaeda.

He added that Mohd Farik was an explosives expert who was among those responsible for channelling funds for the attack on the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 while Mohammed Nazir specialised in hijacking and targeted American interests in the region.

He also said if the two men were brought back to Malaysia, police would place them in the deradicalisation programme.