World

Malaysia a 'dumping ground' for those who fail to join ISIS

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has become a "dumping ground" for foreigners who were stopped from entering Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the New Straits Times said in an exclusive report.

An unnamed source told the Malaysian newspaper that there were no fewer than 30 known "unwanted tourists" in the country. These individuals, including some flagged as "high risk", had earlier been detained at airports in several countries for their "potential risk to national security", said the report.

Intelligence operatives have managed to trace 28 foreigners, whose presence in this country was initially not by choice.

The source told NST: "We don't know who exactly they are, but they were not supposed to be sent to Malaysia.

"The problem is that these foreigners departed from all parts of the world - Dubai, Singapore, Indonesia - before being arrested in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Instead of being deported to their last port of disembarkation, they were given the 'option' to be deported to Malaysia.

"We have become a dumping ground and this is likely because, not only are we a visa-free nation to visit for many countries, we are also a Muslim nation."

The source told the newspaper that Malaysia'a anti-terrorism forces are facing another problem.

Some countries who want to get rid of these people from their soil would even help them get travel documents to enter Malaysia as tourists, the source said.

"Worse still, these individuals, whose plans to join ISIS were thwarted, are now in the country and have stayed off the radar," the source told NST.

"It is not easy for the police to trace them."

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