Malaysia, US boost cooperation to fight terrorism amid fear Paris attacks may spark copycats

Malaysia and the U.S. have signed an agreement to boost cooperation to fight terrorism, as a minister voiced concerns that deadly attacks in Paris could spark copycats in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi says under the pact, Malaysia can access U.S. database of known and suspected terrorists, including 1.2 million fingerprints, to prevent suspected terrorists from entering the country and using Malaysia as a transit hub.

Malaysia has arrested some 150 supporters of the Islamic State group since 2013, some of whom were allegedly plotting attacks in the country.

Zahid said Thursday the document will also help pave the way for Malaysia to participate in the U.S. visa waiver program, eventually allowing Malaysians to travel to the U.S. without visa for 90 days for tourism and business.