Third Turkish national arrested in Malaysia for ‘security concerns’, funding DAESH terrorists
Malaysian police have detained another Turkish national on suspicion of threatening national security, bringing the number of the Turks arrested in the Asian county this week to three.
Ismet Ozcelik, the director of a Turkish university, was arrested on Thursday, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said.
Two other Turkish nationals were arrested on Tuesday in the country over allegations of funding terrorist groups with links to Daesh, according to media reports.
Khalid said the suspects “threaten our security…come here and try to disrupt the peace.”
Ozcelik’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan, however, said his client was taken into custody with no official reasons provided.
Ozcelik was initially arrested in December for allegedly obstructing immigration officials from carrying out their duty. He was freed on bail in January.
Turkish media reported earlier that the two were linked to US-based opposition leader Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of organizing a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year.
Khalid however said that the detentions had not been made on the request of the Turkish government.
“Why would we wait for directions from abroad? We have our own country’s laws,” he added.
He said that Ozcelik had known the two other detainees, but declined to comment on their reported links to Daesh or that they were supporters of Gulen.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Thursday that the anti-terrorism police unit had been investigating the two suspects for “spreading, influencing and funding” Daesh activities.
Turkey is said to be among the main supporters of the militant groups active in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri elements there and facilitates their safe passage into the violence-wracked state.