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CRACKDOWN: Ex-ISA detainees create history as the first to be nabbed under new Security Offences Act
TWO men and a woman made history yesterday when they became the first to be arrested under the new Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for alleged involvement in militant activities.
Former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat, Mohd Hilmi Hasim and Halimah Hussin, were arrested in separate operations in the Klang Valley yesterday afternoon.
A team from the Counter-Terrorism Special Operations Task Force nabbed both men at a canteen at the Jalan Duta court complex about 12.30pm while the woman was picked up from a house in Kajang.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the trio were allegedly involved in militant and terrorism activities, locally and abroad.
He declined to elaborate further since the case was deemed as "serious and sensitive".
He, however, hit back at the critics who disagreed with the repeal of the ISA.
They had feared that national security would be compromised.
"Such accusations have no basis because the new act ensures that the security of the nation and the rights of individuals are protected.
"It has always been said that the new act will never compromise on national security as terrorism is a serious aspect that needs to be looked into."
The two suspects were detained under Section 4(1) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 and could be detained for up to 28 days to facilitate investigations.
Yazid, 49, had previously been arrested for his involvement with the Jemaah Islamiyah militant organisation. He was released from the Kamunting detention centre in December 2008.
It is learnt that Yazid now operates a cafeteria at the Jalan Duta court complex.
The woman, Halimah Hussin, is said to be in her 50s.
"The suspects were kept under surveillance for a long time as authorities gathered evidence against them.
"The teams were given instructions to move into action yesterday morning," a source said.
The source also disclosed the suspects would most probably be charged under one of the many sub-sections of Section 130 of the Penal Code, which was amended last year to include various terrorism offences.
The Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill was tabled in Parliament on April 10 last year and passed in June, officially replacing the ISA and removing the government's option to detain without trial.