Four suspected Tamil Tigers, including a man allegedly involved in the 1999 assassination attempt on the then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, were arrested on Thursday. The detention of the four in Serdang, Sentul, Sungai Besi and central Kuala Lumpur brings the total number of Sri Lankan Tamils arrested here in the last two months to seven.
Three others were arrested on May 15. Police here believe the Tamil Tigers were trying to revive their movement using Malaysia as a transit point, hideout and a new base of operation. The police has not yet divulged the names of the four LTTE men arrested on Thursday, but have confirmed that one was a bomb expert while another was involved in the attempted assassination of Kumaratunga in 1999.
The suspects, aged 32, 37, 43 and 45, were believed to be responsible for past attacks in Sri Lanka. Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the four were suspected of attempting to revive the LTTE movement.
The four were living in Malaysia since 2009 and were highly respected in the LTTE network, the Star paper reported quoting unnamed sources. "The four have been LTTE members since early 1990s. One of them even joined when he was a teenager.
"They came to Malaysia following the Sri Lankan military crackdown on the LTTE and hoped to plan attacks from Malaysia while trying to revive the movement," the source was quoted as saying. Khalid said among the items seized were a huge number of forged Malaysian passports along with forged stamps of the Immigration Department and those of foreign embassies. The LTTE was defeated in a military campaign in 2009, ending a nearly three decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka.