KUCHING: It was a tale of riches to rags, then to guns and then possible prison for 20-year-old Malaysian terror suspect Al Muhd Alfie Kqhyriel.
The man, who was arrested in Karachi, Pakistan, for allegedly attempting to smuggle firearms out, appeared to be a regular student with no signs of being radicalised. His father is said to be a former businessman who lived in a rather large house.
However, the business failed and his parents were then divorced. The mother was forced to work as a general worker in a school canteen.
When that failed, it became a kitchen for a chicken rice seller.
A neighbour in Kuching, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Muhd Alfie has also never been abroad, and the farthest he has travelled was to Kuala Lumpur.
“I was shocked to learn about his arrest. He seemed like a good kid, always greeting us,” he told The Star yesterday.
He said Muhd Alfie also did not appear to be involved in any religious group as he was often attending classes at a private college here, where he was reading law.
According to one of Muhd Alfie’s uncles, who only wanted to be identified as Nizam, the young man quit his law studies because of financial problems.
Nizam said he was shocked to learn of the arrest.
He described Muhd Alfie as a quiet person who did not get into any trouble.
“He must have been used by someone else. Look at the pictures of his arrest. He looks calm and not guilty,” he said.
Nizam said the youth’s father and mother were both too stunned for words after they heard of their son’s arrest.
“The mother has just gone blank. She simply does not know what to say,” he said.
Suspected to be an Islamic State member, Muhd Alfie was arrested at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi while attempting to board Thai Airways Flight TG342 to Bangkok recently.
It was reported that Pakistan authorities seized four pistols, eight ammunition magazines and 70 bullets hidden in his bag and shoes.
It is believed that Muhd Alfie is now being questioned by intelligence agencies over his alleged links to Islamic State and as to why he concealed pistols and ammunition in his luggage and shoes.
Clad in a robe and skullcap during the arrest, Muhd Alfie reportedly went to Pakistan on a 14-day social visitor’s pass.
According to the neighbour, he must have gone after attending a wedding reception in the housing area on Dec 10, the date he was last seen.
“I don’t think anything was amiss. He showed up in a white baju melayu. I’ve never seen him wear a robe before,” he said.
He said that although Muhd Alfie was friendly, he appeared to be reserved.
“His parents are divorced and he was living with the father here with a younger brother. The mother lives not far away with another younger brother while his elder sister lives in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
He also said Muhd Alfie’s father has not been seen since the police visited the house on Saturday evening.
A Malaysian intelligence source said there was a possibility that Muhd Alfie entered Pakistan with the intention to get arms and smuggle them into Malaysia with specific intentions, including terrorism.