More suspects still loose and unidentified.
Special Branch police officers have arrested seven foreigners and a Malaysian who were allegedly spreading Salafi Jihadi extremist teachings on Sept 24.
The suspects were running an Islamic learning centre in Perlis which was used to promote extremist teachings, condoning the killing of everyone including non-Muslims and Muslims who do not adhere to their beliefs.
They were made up of students, ex-students and teachers of the centre.
The arrests came about after foreign intelligence agencies and Bukit Aman worked together to uncover intel that a Yemen-based terrorist organisation was planning to spread its influence in the Southeast Asian region, with Malaysia being its hub.
‘Twisted version of Islam’
A source told The Star that students at the Madrasah were forbidden from shaving their beards or even wear trousers as it was a strict violation.
One student was even shunned, isolated and forced to study on his own, when he insisted on wearing jeans.
The other students refused to even acknowledge the student’s presence or wish him “salam”.
One of them taught three classes a week
One of the suspects arrested, a 33-year-old Middle Eastern man was arrested in Kuala Lumpur as he had already left the madrasah a while back.
Investigations revealed that he was actively organising classes on Salafi Jihadi teachings in the Klang Valley under the cover of giving Islamic classes.
Alarmingly before being arrested, he was giving up to three classes a week on the extremist ideology.
Sources told The Star that these suspects were not merely part of a cult but an organised terror movement. Most of the foreigners detained have links to terrorist activities in their home countries and are being investigated there as well.
Meanwhile, the Perlis tahfiz institutions deny any links to terrorism. Their chairman, Muhd Inzaar Haqieqie Ismail has said that while the registration of the school was made under Perlis Islamic Religious Department (JAIP), there was no registration made under the Perlis tahfiz institutions (PINTA).
This is not the first time terror elements in Malaysia have spread. Salafi Jihadi ideology.Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leaders Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Basyir set up schools in Negri Sembilan and Johor in 1985 which were shut down.