Exclusive Interview With Yazid Sufaat,
"The Experience In The Thaghut Prison"
06 April 2012
By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun
The prison is supposed to be used to detain people
who commit crimes. But the prison has been transformed
into a confinement for those who really did not
deserve to be detained. Detained without trial and an
accusation that is legitimate. Yazid Sufaat, a Mujahid
from Malaysia, accused of assisting the 9/11 attack
and several other charges, is one of the living
eyewitnesses who was detained over invalid charges and
The following is a Malaysiakini interview with
Yazid Sufaat conducted by Fathi Aris Omar, Aidila
Razak and Salhan K Ahmad on 20/3/2012, which focuses
on the ISA, approaching its abrogation, which is
expected to be presented in the currently ongoing
session of the Parliament. Earlier, the second
interview has discussed about the Exclusive Interview
With Yazid Sufaat, 9/11 Attack Increased The Number Of
Adherents Of Islam. In this third discussion, Yazid
told about his experience of being held in the
thaghut prison under the Internal Secuirty Act
Twisting and turning in his 8ft by 10ft solitary
confinement cell in the Kamunting detention camp in
Perak one night, former army captain Yazid Sufaat, who
is alleged to be an al-Qaeda operative, said he wanted
nothing more than to see the a clear sky and the
"One day, in prison, I felt like seeing the stars
shining. I had not seen them for three years at that
point, for I could not see the sky from my cell.
Seeing stars is a gift.
"I prayed, ‘Ya Allah, let me see some stars'.
Sometimes we take some things for granted," he
said, recalling his seven-year incarceration at the
Kamunting detention camp in Perak, under the Internal
Security Act 1964.
Sent behind bars without trial for his involvement in
jihad activities in December 2001, including the 9/11
attacks in New York, Yazid was kept in solitary
confinement for five years.
There, he used blood from the swarms of mosquitoes
attacking him in the cell to write Qur'anic verses on
the walls, which was sweltering hot at night, leaving
him drenched with sweat after performing the solat.
Seemingly still filled with angst over his
incarceration, it is this experience in Kamunting that
makes him doubt the government's pledge to repeal the
"If it is working well for them (the government),
why should they abolish the law? Maybe they'll change
the name, but the contents of the new (replacement
laws) will be the same, or even worse," he said.
A biological warfare programme
Among the longest-serving ISA detainees in history,
Yazid, currently under travel, asset and arms deals
sanctions imposed by the United Nations, believes his
incarceration has to do with his "expertise".
Trained as a biochemist on a government scholarship in
the United States, this top student of the Royal
Military College who retired as a captain with the
army was part of a biological warfare programme under
the Defence Ministry.
While mostly candid about his involvement with famous
characters such as Sheikh Usamah bin Laden (rahimahullah),Yazid
was hesitant to reveal details about the government's
"secret" programme which was later scrapped,
describing it "a long story".
"When they (the police) first took me in, I didn't
tell them (about the government programme). I didn't
want them to know, didn't want the liability to fall
on the government, to pass the buck to someone else.
"Finally, they managed to get a report from their
‘friend' and they wanted me to clear things up. I
didn't want to clarify (anything), so they took my
wife in," said the father of four.
His wife, Sejahratul Dursina @ Chomel Mohamed, was
held under ISA for two months and after this was
placed under a movement restriction order for six
"If you want to be released from ISA, just follow
what they say and admit to all the charges… I refused
to do so and they kept me for seven years… because I
don't want to sing 'Negara-ku' (national anthem -
"I don't want to sing. Why should I (when) the country
had betrayed me?" Yazid asked.
The helpers of Thaghut
Yazid would wake up at 4am daily to read the Qur'an,
and under poor lighting too – a 15-watt light bulb
that was only replaced with a fluorescent light
outside the cells, after many complaints from the
When the prison cells were opened
at 8am, Yazid said, he would jog in the confinement
area, which he said only allowed between 80 to 90
paces, for an hour before tending to his vegetable
"At 11am, we'll be locked up in the cells again so
I read the papers, which were full of holes because
all the so-called sensitive issues had been cut out,"
Yazid was not only interrogated by Malaysian
investigators but said he received visits from
Indonesian police and the FBI (Federal Bureau of
Investigation), and that he kept his lips sealed.
"I would go in there, show my face, and not say a
thing. I said, ‘If you want to know anything, you
ask (the Special Branch)'," he said.
Claiming that some detainees were assaulted while
being interrogated, Yazid said himself did not suffer
"The Qur'an says that those who believe must
conduct jihad in the path of Allah, while
non-believers are on the path of the thaghut (satan),
so wage war against those who aid the satan. I
consider all who had a hand in my arrest as the
satan's aides," he said.
Yazid said he could not understand how the ulama's
who visited Kamunting could use the Qur'an to justify
"In Islam, if you intend to do something good,
Allah gives you a reward. Even if you don't do it, but
if you intend to do something bad, Allah doesn't
penalize you if you don't do it," Yazid said.
"So how can the ISA be justified? It punishes people
even for their intentions to do bad. Using the Qur'an
to justify ISA… isn't that idiotic? A mufti, who is
still alive, has written a book justifying ISA,"
Still in touch with Jemaah Islamiyah
To this day, Yazid, who confesses to still be in touch
with and "helps" old friends who are linked to Jemaah
Islamiyah with their "daily needs", denies all the
five ISA charges (see chart) that were levelled
Asked if he was still a threat,
he said: "I am not dangerous. I have never been
dangerous since day one."
Returning "wild" from California, United States,
where he trained to be a biochemist on a government
scholarship, Yazid said, he started to ask questions
about his religion.
Some time later, he joined the Al-Ehsan Association, a
registered Islamic organization to which he ‘donated'
his condominium in Sungai Long, Selangor.
"I gave the condo to these people for whatever they
wanted to use if for. If a traveller needed lodging,
they could use it," he said.
Three of the people who stayed at the condominium
were associated with the 9/11 attacks, with one –
Zacarais Mousaoui – eventually employed by Yazid,
purportedly to market a software developed by Yazid's
company, Infocus Tech.
Infocus Tech is one of several Malaysian companies
that researchers claim were shell companies set up to
raise funds for al-Qaeda.
"Back then, computers and phones didn't talk to each
other, so we developed software to integrate them. We
developed it for call centres. That kind of thing…
"So, if you ask whether I funded (Mousaoui for 9/11),
I'm not going to say yes or no. He was my employee.
Let the readers think," he said.
Yazid said he hired Mousaoui when the latter, who
is from a computer engineering background, asked for
help, saying he needed to get a visa for the United
"He never told me he wanted to take lessons (in flying
"He asked me if I could help
him get a visa to the US. I said, ‘Why not? You
take my software there'. So I wrote everything,
that he is representing us, etc," he said.
The other two individuals linked to 9/11 who stayed in
the Sungai Long condominium were Khalid al-Midhar and
Nawaf al-Hazmi – two of five hijackers of American
Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon.
The duo, according to the United Nations, had stayed
at Yazid's condominium in January 2000 to attend what
the UN termed an "al-Qaeda conference" in Kuala
"I was not there. At that time I was in Pakistan
and Afghanistan, building a hospital there," Yazid
Next to the hospital, he said, was a laboratory where
he is accused of developing biological weapons – an
accusation not levelled at him during his detention
under the ISA, but earning him the moniker "Anthrax
CEO". Though the US intelligence doubts that Yazid
developed the anthrax strain.
But Yazid said that he was in fact "successful" in
developing some "bugs", but the laboratory was
destroyed when the NATO forces bombed Kandahar.
"I can still find (anthrax) if I want to, but what
for? It has no commercial value. Anthrax is only good
for sabotaging, it cannot kill.
"It's not my favourite bug, anyway. I'd rather use
bacteria or virus that (really) hit you and give you
one or two hours before you die.
"Whose handiwork do you think the bird flu was?
Scientists, who later couldn't control it," he
On the charge of supplying ammonium nitrate to build
bombs for an attack in Ambon, Indonesia, Yazid said
that it was purely a business transaction between his
company, Green Laboratory Medicine, and a Yemeni
"The Yemeni company ordered 40 tonnes of it, but I
only managed to send four tonnes. The profit was
RM1,600 per tonne, so imagine how much I would make
with 40 tonnes! It was not my business (to know) what
they wanted to do with it.
"I checked with the government if there was
restriction to exporting this item, but there was
none. Now they're more clever and have placed
restrictions on it (ammonium nitrate)," he said.
On the final two charges – funding sectarian violence
in Ambon and armed struggles in the southern
Philippines – Yazid maintains that he had only
provided funds for humanitarian aid.
He said that during his interrogation, he was asked if
the funds he sent for "medicine, food and clothes"
could be used to buy arms and admitted that there was
"Maybe, how am I to know?" said Yazid, who
admits that he still "preaches".
The official statement would later read that Yazid
confessed to funding arms purchases in southern
Philippines, and that the arms were to be brought back
to Malaysia to topple the government.
"They can write anything, because under the ISA,
nobody is going to challenge whatever they say. This
is ISA," he said, adding that he only knew he was
associated with Jemaah Islamiyah when he read his
Months prior to his release, Yazid decided to soften
his stand, after his wife implored him to do so, and
started singing the Negara-ku.
"They moved me back to stay with the other
detainees. There was a fan and I was sick for a week,
trying to adjust to this so-called luxury," he
No more fears now
Before his release, Yazid said two prayers – one for
God to "destroy" his interrogators if they did not
repent. The other was for himself.
"I prayed: ‘Ya Allah, give me a sign to show if
what I did was right or wrong. Show me when I am
released'. So I was pretty nervous.
"The first solat I performed after I was released
was the asar solat. I was terrified. Who knows, maybe
I really did something wrong? People could spit at me
or throw their shoes at me," he said.
Instead, he received a warm welcome from a
neighbourhood mosque and when he returned the next
day, he was asked to lead the maghrib prayers. They
later made him their imam.
"I am now nearing 50, I wasted seven years of my
life… but no, I wouldn't say they were wasted.
"I became an adult in the most ignorant place, the
States, but I matured in prison… Allah got rid of my
fears in prison,"