The authorities of Malaysia will soon face hard times. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad had to refute the information published by Newsweek that ex-officer of Malaysia’s army and member of the Jemaa Islamija terrorist organization Yazit Sufaat cooperated with Al Qaeda and assisted with the development of terrorist activity in the region. The Prime Minister said: “Malaysia had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 terrorist acts.” However Newsweek refers to secret data of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the article. In addition, Malaysian authorities arrested 48 people (including Yazit Sufaat himself), who are suspected of connections with Al Qaeda. At the same time, Mahathir Mohammad admits that Malaysian citizens have been trained in the militant camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The authorities of Malaysia are rather loyal to the foreign extremists on the territory of the country. Information about the presence of the leaders of Chechen militants in the country has appeared a long ago. It is an open secret that Aslan Maskhadov’s family is in Malaysia now. However, sometimes, it is even said that Maskhadov himself is in Malaysia too. If it is true, how do the authorities of Malaysia treat the fact that Maskhadov plays one of the key roles in the events in Chechnya? But no wonder, especially regarding the fact that Turkish authorities refuse to extradite such and odious person as Movladi Udugov to Russia. It is important that Turkey, unlike Malaysia, is a NATO member. Now, NATO is working on the improvement of relations with Russia, especially in the struggle with terrorism. However, the struggle with terrorism and Islamic solidarity (as it is treated in some countries) are quite different things. In addition, Turkey is extremely important for the alliance, which is why Brussels and Washington do not venture to exert excessive pressure on it. But let us remember how Chechen emissaries have been recently received in London and Washington. The meetings demonstrated the actual attitude of the leadership of both countries to Russia’s efforts in the struggle with the militants.
There is no doubt that, under US pressure, the authorities of Malaysia will keep on fighting with the domestic accomplices of the terrorists. It is more important to what extent the efforts will be effective. And how will Washington react to it?
In any case, the Malaysian authorities are to treat the article in Newsweek as a notification. The US administration does not seem to be sufficiently pleased with the scale of Malaysia’s struggle with terrorism. Now, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad will have to assure the USA that Malaysia is not a shelter for Al Qaeda militants. Otherwise, Malaysia is threatened with being placed on America’s “black list” of terrorist accomplices.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/30/36296.html
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart