Malaysian police said Sunday that six Egyptians and a Tunisian man believed to be linked to an African-based terror group have been detained and deported.
One of the Egyptians and the Tunisian national are suspected members of Ansar Al-Sharia Al-Tunisia, which is based in North Africa and listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations, national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement.
Fuzi said the two were detained in 2016 for trying to illegally enter an African country. He said they used fake passports to enter Malaysia in October last year and were planning to sneak into a third country to launch attacks.
Five other Egyptians and two Malaysians were detained last month for providing food, shelter, air tickets and employment for the two suspected terrorists, Fuzi said.
He said authorities are concerned with the entry of foreign terrorist fighters as investigations showed they may use Malaysia as a “safe haven” or a logistics hub to launch attacks in other countries.
The six Egyptians and the Tunisian were reported March 5 and blacklisted from entering Malaysia, Fuzi said.