The Malaysian government pledged Thursday to crack down on anyone who channels money to militants in Indonesia, following a report that a slain terrorist suspect received funds from Malaysian sympathizers. Azahari bin Husin, a Malaysian alleged to have been an explosives expert for the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, was shot by Indonesian police last week as he reached to detonate a suicide belt.
A report in the Indonesia's "Media Indonesia" newspaper on Tuesday claimed that Azahari and his alleged accomplice, Noordin Mohamad Top, also a Malaysian, received funds from sympathizers in Malaysia after the two went to Indonesia in 2001.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak stressed that his government opposes terrorism, but added that "we do not know if there are individuals who are funding" Jemaah Islamiyah operatives in Indonesia.
"There are people who are supporting JI in Indonesia and there are people who support JI here," Najib told reporters. "This is up to the police to investigate. ... Once there is evidence, action will be taken."
Azahari and Noordin, who remains on the run, are accused of coordinating suicide bombings on Western targets in Indonesia that have killed 244 people since 2002.
The Indonesian news report cited Wawan H. Purwanto, whom it claimed was an Indonesian "intelligence observer," as saying that a Malaysian named "Suf" had used banks to transfer funds to Azahari and Noordin from Malaysian supporters.
Suf later used couriers to sent the funds, the report said, citing Purwanto. It did not give any background on Purwanto, or say how much money was allegedly channeled to Azahari and Noordin.
Azahari's body was scheduled to be flown back to Malaysia for burial later Thursday after his family earlier this week confirmed his identity in Jakarta.
On Wednesday, Malaysia's Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar said his government had no evidence that Azahari and Noordin operated in Indonesia with money from Malaysia.
They are accused of direct involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists; two bombings in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004 that took at least 22 lives; and the Oct. 1 suicide attacks in Bali that caused 20 more deaths, reports the AP. I.L.