Malaysia is deporting Egyptians and Tunisians for alleged terrorist relations

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Malaysian police said Sunday that six Egyptians and one Tunisian, believed to be in contact with an African-based terrorist group, were detained and deported.

One of the Egyptians and the Tunisian citizen are alleged members of Ansar al-Sharia al-Tunisia, which is located in North Africa and is listed by the United Nations as a terrorist group, said the national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun in a statement.

Fuzi said the two were arrested in 2016 for attempting to illegally immigrate to an African country. He said that 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 arrested last month for providing food, shelter, airline tickets and employment to the two alleged terrorists, Fuzi said.

He said the authorities were concerned about the entry of foreign terrorist fighters, as investigations had shown that they could use Malaysia as a "safe haven" or as a logistics hub for attacks in other countries.

The six Egyptians and the Tunisians were reported on March 5 and blacklisted from entering Malaysia, Fuzi said.

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