Security alert in Malaysia after Osama killing

May 3rd, 2011 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, May 3 (IANS) Malaysia’s war on terror will not end with Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s death, said security officials who assured people that they were on high alert and monitoring the situation closely.

Malaysians will be safe from any retaliatory attack by Osama’s supporters, officials told New Straits Times hours after Osama’s killing in Pakistan’s Abbottabad city.

Although Al Qaeda was not present in Malaysia, its affiliate, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), was active in the region.

National Security Council secretary Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab said: “The death of Osama will not stop or reduce JI’s terrorist activities.

“The authorities must always be alert and ready.”

Thajudeen said Osama’s death was, however, an important milestone in the war on terror.

Mohamad Fuzi Harun, a senior police official, said: “We cannot take things for granted. The department will continue to monitor the situation. We are taking extra precautions over the next few days.”

Fuzi said there could be Osama sympathisers who may retaliate against the US and other Western countries for his death.

“Osama is dead, but terrorist activities will continue as he (may have) a successor and followers,” the police official said.

Police sources said they did not rule out the possibility that JI would take revenge for the killing as many suspected terrorists arrested here had admitted to knowing Osama personally.

They told the authorities that they had trained with Osama in Kandahar, Afghanistan, between 1999 and 2001 and some claimed to have fought with him.

However, the sources said JI had not conducted any attack on Malaysia.

A senior defence ministry official said Malaysians need not be alarmed about the worldwide security alert issued by the US State Department for its embassies.

Multi-racial Malaysia is an Islamic republic with its majority Malays practicing Islam.

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