IGP confirms IS linked to Movida nightclub blast

Mugshots and details of the two men wanted by police in connection with the grenade attack on the Movida nightclub. — Picture by Ida Lim
Mugshots and details of the two men wanted by police in connection with the grenade attack on the Movida nightclub. — Picture by Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — The grenade attack at the Movida bar at a Puchong mall is the first successful attack in Malaysia linked to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed today.

Khalid said two male suspects were arrested last week and the police are searching for another two suspects believed to be involved in the June 28 attack.

“As we have said, we investigate from all aspects, as a result of our investigation, we found that it’s true, there is an IS element involved in the incident at Movida cafe.

“We managed to apprehend two individuals involved in the throwing of mini hand-grenades at Movida cafe on the night of the incident. We were able to arrest the two of them and they are still detained.

“We found that these two men have received orders from one of the Malaysians in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, who ordered them to launch attacks in Malaysia on senior leaders of the government, senior leaders of the Malaysian police, judges — because these three groups are those who block their activities,” he told reporters here.

Khalid confirmed the senior government leaders targeted by these two suspects include Cabinet members and the prime minister.

The duo are factory workers and were nabbed on July 1 in the Port Klang area, Khalid said.

He said the hand-grenade used in the Movida attack, which left eight people wounded, was from a “neighbouring country” and was of the type normally used in training and during World War II.

These two suspects are part of 15 male terrorism suspects that the police arrested from June 28 to July 1 following the recent Movida attack, Khalid said.

Khalid said all the 15 nabbed are locals whose ages ranged from 19 to 52. Seven of them are from Kedah, four from Selangor, two from Kuala Lumpur, one each from Malacca and Penang.

He said the police believed the 15 to have either been planning or received instructions to attack the three target groups as well as entertainment outlets deemed to be “unIslamic”.

Khalid said the police also believe the suspects planned to launch attacks in other areas in the country, but added that they were unable to pinpoint the exact targeted locations.

He said this is because the suspects typically receive instructions just before the strikes are to be made.

He noted that two of the 15 nabbed are low-ranking police personnel based in Penang and Kedah; one of the two policemen is suspected of planning similar attacks in Kuala Lumpur and seeking funding for local IS cells.

He said the other policeman is suspected of seeking to help an IS member avoid arrest, but was not detected to have attempted “sabotage”.

He clarified however that these two policemen are not linked to the Movida attack.

According to Khalid, the police are aware of several cells in Malaysia that are receiving “direct instructions from people in Syria”.

“There are female operatives there who are also giving certain instructions here. There are also male IS members there who are also giving instructions — all through social media.

“So that’s why I made monitoring social media the focus this year,” he said.

Khalid also advised entertainment outlets to comply with the operating hours set by the local authorities.

He said operating beyond midnight will make them easier targets for militant groups.

He also said he had previously suggested that state governments put entertainment centres in a centralised location, saying that this would make it easier for authorities to monitor and control.

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