CHERAS, Oct 1 — Malaysia has started negotiations with the US to repatriate two of its citizens who are currently being detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for suspected involvement in terrorism activities, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today.
He indicated that talks are still at the preliminary stage.
“It’s still early. We’ve started negotiating with the American authorities. So there are no decisions yet. We will inform you of the progress
“We just met, listened, and read their profiles and recorded their latest situation,” he told reporters after attending the Home Ministry’s Madani programme at the Bandar Tun Razak Sports Complex here.
The two Malaysian terror suspects have been identified as Mohamad Bashir Lap and Mohd Farik Amin.
The two men have been held at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, known colloquially as Gitmo since 2006, for their alleged involvement with the Jemaah Islamiyah militant group in early 2000.
They are also alleged to have been involved in the bombing at the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 said to have been plotted by Indonesian Encep Nurjaman, also known as Hambali.
Bashir and Farik and were arrested in Bangkok, Thailand that same year.
Saifuddin Nasution said he has to check the records when asked to comment on public concern about the government’s move to bring back the two Malaysian terror suspects.
“They were captured in 2003 and I’ve only been the home minister for only 10 months. I have to check back their records,” he said.