Arrested Turks linked to ISIL, Malaysian police claims
KUALA LUMPURTwo Turkish nationals arrested in Malaysia are being held on suspicion of funding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Kuala Lumpur said May 4, contradicting a state-run Anadolu Agency report which a day earlier claimed the suspects were members of the Gülen network, widely believed to have orchestrated last year’s coup attempt.
Malaysia’s anti-terrorism police unit had been investigating the two men, along with a number of others, for “spreading, influencing and funding” ISIL activities, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
Officers had a raft of communications between Turgay Karaman and İhsan Aslan, Hamidi told reporters, without revealing details of the alleged exchanges.
News of the arrests broke on May 3, when national police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said on Twitter that the men were being held “because they threatened the security of Malaysia.”
Anadolu Agency said the two were linked to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, the main suspect in the probes into the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
Hamidi added that Aslan was being held under the Security Offences Act, which allows police to detain them for 28 days.
Suspects are often only allowed access to lawyers once they are charged in court.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Asia at Human Rights Watch, said on May 3 the two men should be granted immediate access to their lawyers.
The wives of the duo have denied the allegations.
“They have never hurt anyone,” Ayse Gul Karaman, wife of Karaman, was quoted as saying by daily Star on April 4.