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Malaysia detains 3 on terror charges

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Police detained three people Thursday, including a former army captain linked to two hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, on suspicion of recruiting militants for terrorist activities.

The detentions are believed to be the first under Malaysia’s Security Offenses Act, which was introduced last year to replace a law that allowed indefinite detention without trial.

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The two men and a woman were detained on suspicion they led efforts ‘‘to recruit several Malaysians for terrorist activities,’’ said national police Chief Ismail Omar.

He said in a statement that an investigation is continuing. Other police officials said they could not elaborate.

The statement did not identify the suspects. However, human rights group Suaram said they include Yazid Sufaat, a former Malaysian army captain who spent seven years in detention without trial after being accused of belonging to Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant network. He was freed in 2008 when officials said he no longer posed a threat.

The security act enables police to hold suspects for up to 28 days before they must be brought to court.

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