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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — The police are on alert for a potential terrorist attack after receiving credible information after the arrests of several militants from the Islamic State (IS) group last month, news portal The Malaysian Insider reported today.
The police have increased patrols in Jalan Alor and nearby areas in Kuala Lumpur, and the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Smart Traveller, the Australian government’s travel advisory site, also advised US and Australian citizens to avoid Jalan Alor and the surrounding areas today.
“Yes, we are on alert. More policemen have been sent to the ground,” a police source told the news portal.
The attack is believed to be retaliation for the crackdown against IS militants.
Last month, 10 suspected IS members were arrested by the police in multiple raids across the country, among them six members of the country’s security forces, a former interior designer and a kindergarten teacher.
“They are suspected to be involved in activities to promote the Islamic State ideology,” police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement announcing the arrests on August 20.
These activities ranged from raising funds for the movement to recruiting Malaysians and planning to buy weapons for an attack in Malaysia, he added, but gave no details.
Authorities have identified 39 Malaysians in Syria and Iraq.
Two days ago, The Diplomat magazine reported that Indonesia’s counter-terrorism chief Saud Usman Nasution has warned that the IS is working with smugglers to bring foreign fighters from Malaysia to Indonesia.
He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the militants arrived in Sumatra from Malaysia, and were then taken to Poso in central Sulawesi, which is believed to be a training ground for IS fighters.
“We see that some foreign terrorist fighters from overseas come to Indonesia.
“First they leave Malaysia and head for Pekanbaru (Sumatra) to Puncak (west Java) — it’s all facilitated by asylum seeker networks, then from Puncak they would leave to Makassar and Poso, with facilitation from Isis network,” he said.
He added, “… we need to stay vigilant, more so because there is information that in Malaysia, there are thousands, a lot of foreign terrorist fighters there who are about to be deployed — we don’t know where to — under the network.”