RealNews

Malaysia opens anti-terror centre

A new South East Asian counter-terrorism centre has been launched in Malaysia. The project – strongly backed by the United States – is part of the region’s drive to combat terrorism in the wake of the 11 September attacks on the US and last October’s Bali bombings. But correspondents say the centre’s launch comes amid strained diplomatic ties between the US and Malaysia, over Malaysia’s disapproval of American foreign policy. The Malaysian Government has stressed that although the centre has been proposed by Washington, US involvement will be minimal. Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told those gathered for the centre’s opening that the project was “a big step forward in our war against terrorism”. The centre is expected to have a dedicated research unit to monitor terrorist operations in the region. While it will offer training by world class experts, it will not be an intelligence agency, Syed Hamid Albar said. The centre is temporarily based at the Foreign Ministry in the government administrative centre of Putrajaya, south of Kuala Lumpur, but is expected to move to new premises in Kuala Lumpur by December or January. It is due to organise its first conference to study terrorist financing and money laundering next month. Full Story

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