Saturday February 9, 2013
Man on terror charge a ‘smart and witty’ father
PETALING JAYA: Many might presume ex-ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat to be a dangerous man, having been an active member of Islamist militant organisation Jemaah Islamiyah for nearly a decade.
But to his 20-year-old son, Zufar Arif (pic), Yazid is a kind-hearted and good-tempered father.
“He is very smart and very witty,” said Zufar, who rushed back from his university in Terengganu upon hearing of his father’s arrest.
Yazid was a national scholar, graduating from California State University in Sacramento with a degree in biochemistry and his son is now in his final semester of chemical engineering.
Zufar said he was saddened by Yazid’s arrest and hoped court proceedings would be settled swiftly.
“I hope they don’t drag it on,” said the youth who will soon graduate from his course.
“I have to try and focus and make sure this doesn’t interrupt my studies,” he said, adding that the police had taken a laptop containing parts of his thesis as well as the internet modem when they raided Yazid’s house.
Zufar is the second of Yazid’s four children with wife Chomel Mohamad, 48.
Chomel, meanwhile, swears her husband is “a good man” and fears that her family would have to go through what they faced in 2001, when Johor-born Yazid was arrested under the ISA.
Yazid, 49, is being held at the Kamunting detention centre under the now repealed Internal Security Act until 2008.
The former army captain maintained that he has not been involved in any armed activities but in religious classes.
However, he is believed to have been one of the al-Qaeda’s main anthrax developers and is wanted for questioning by the US government in relation to the Sept 11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.