Thailand arrests suspected Islamic State member wanted by Malaysian police

Malaysia police are tracking down four men linked to Islamic State. Thai authorities said on Thursday (Apr 19) that Awae Wae-Eya, who is second from right, has been arrested. (Images: Royal Malaysia Police)

A man wanted by the Malaysian police for suspected links with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has been arrested by the Thai authorities.

The arrest of Awae Wae-eya, 37, from Cho Airong district in southern Thailand, was announced by Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Thursday (Apr 19).

“He (Awae) has been arrested and the Thai authorities are investigating him at the moment,” he told the media after chairing a meeting with the country’s security agencies.

However, he declined to say where and when Awae was arrested. Awae is believed to be in the military’s custody in southern Thailand.

Apart from Awae, the Malaysian police are also searching for three other Malaysians, identified as Nor Farkhan Mohd Isa, 31, from Skudai, Johor; Muhamad Hanafi Yah, 51, and Muhamad Faizal Muhamad Hanafi, 29, from Kampung Ketil, Pengkalan Kubor.

Malaysia police chief Fuzi Harun said in a statement that the four men were “presumed dangerous”.

According to Mr Prawit, based on the information obtained by the Thai authorities, two of the Malaysians had never been to Thailand, while the other one visited the country about three years ago.

He was also asked about reports on IS’ intention to set up networks of operatives in southern Thailand and said the Thai authorities had foiled the plan.

The Deputy Prime Minister also said he hoped the Malaysian authorities would relay information on IS or other security-related matters to Thailand. – Bernama

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