‘Sulus will return better armed’

ESSCOM deputy commissioner Ahmad Nadzer believes that the numerous water villagers along the ESSCOM stretch are breeding growns for ‘arriving’ terrorists. 

LAHAD DATU: If the Sulus return they will be eliminated at sea, even before they breach the security net in eastern Sabah, assured Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) Director of Intelligence, deputy commissioner Ahmad Nadzer Nordin (picture, right).

Ahmad Nadzer, who confessed that the February intrusion at Kampung Tanduo here was a result of a ‘slip-up’, believes the Sulus will return and this time it will be with vengeance on their mind.

“We believe they will return. We expect them to come better armed, but we will be ready and waiting for them and they will not get to land at our shores,” he said.

He said they expected the terrorists to sneak into the area using other routes and take refuge among the water villages along the 1,784 km ESSCOM coastline.

He said although the long coastline covering 10 districts from Kudat to Tawau were “well secured” there were still “pockets” which did not fall within the range of the eight radars

He said once these terrorists slipped pass the security net they took refuge in the many water villages which litter the ESSCOM coastline.

“These villages must be demolished and residents resettled elsewhere.

“All this while our (police) intelligence indicated water villages were used as hide out for criminals and smugglers, they hide their fire arms, contraband include drugs there.

“I strongly believe it is high time for us to eradicate such threats once and for all,” he said.

Ahmad said ESSCOM has been exploring and adopting all possible measures to improve its security network and its intelligence collecting process.

He said cooperation with the Philippines and Indonesia security forces had also strengthened even as ESSCOM fostered closer ties with residents within the range.