A Malaysian man arrested in Pakistan on December 23 while attempting to smuggle guns out of the country, is believed to be a member of the Islamic State (IS) and was travelling to Malaysia.
The man, identified as 20-year old Al Muhd Alfie Kqhyriel, was arrested at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi while trying to board Thai Airways flight TG342 to Bangkok. Security personnel confiscated four pistols, right rounds of ammunition and 70 bullets from his possession. The items were concealed in his luggage and shoes.
According to a military intelligence source, the arrested man had planned to use Thailand as a transit. He also said that Malaysian authorities had communicated to Thailand the possibility of an IS attack during the winter holidays.
“Malaysia did not specifically say where or how a possible attack would occur but mentioned various possibilities, including an attack on some crowded venue or hijack(ing),” the source was quoted as saying.
Malaysia’s police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun confirmed the arrest of the 20-year-old man who originated from Kuching, Sarawak.
“From what we gather from our (Pakistani) counterparts, yes, he is a Malaysian from Serian, Sarawak aged 20 and he has links to IS,” he said.
A senior Thai Airways executive added that the airline does not operate a direct flight from Karachi to Malaysia.
“Given the tight security measures and advanced technology at airports, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to smuggle such a large amount of firearms and bullets through (Suvarnabhumi) airport and on to a commercial airliner,” the Thai Airways official said.
“It would be ridiculous for the suspect to think that he could have carried those firearms and bullets on board.”
The Thai Airways executive official added: “My question is why would he take a connecting flight with illicit goods when he would be subject to several checks.”
Alfie has been handed over to Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence for questioning, reports said.
According to sources, Alfie reportedly came from a well-off background before his family fell on hard times.
Alfie’s father was a businessman and the family had lived in a large house, but it all went downhill after the business declined and his parents got divorced.
The report said Alfie’s mother was then forced to take a job as general worker in a school canteen to make ends meet.
Their house was reportedly used for several businesses, first as a factory to manufacture metal grilles, then a restaurant, and subsequently as the kitchen for a chicken rice hawker.