Cops foil nine IS plots on local targets

Police say almost all of the 200 suspected local and 30 foreign militants with links to IS detained had undergone a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure they were no longer a threat. — Reuters pic
Police say almost all of the 200 suspected local and 30 foreign militants with links to IS detained had undergone a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure they were no longer a threat. — Reuters pic

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 10 — Police have foiled nine Islamic State (IS) attack plots on local targets, including three close calls, Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said yesterday.

The Special Branch’s Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director said this came about through Bukit Aman’s stepping up intelligence gathering and enforcement activities.

He said three attempts saw IS operatives gaining access to chemicals, ammunitions and bomb-making materials to carry out their plans.

“They were targeting vice dens, entertainment outlets and public institutions. We will remain vigilant and continue to combat terrorism without fear of threats,’’ he said.

Ayob was debriefing 86 diplomats and representatives of seven international agencies on the security situation in the country at the Home Ministry here.

He said almost all of the 200 suspected local and 30 foreign militants with links to IS detained had undergone a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure they were no longer a threat.

A few refused to take part in the programme.

“We are working with international partners especially those from the Middle East on improving the programme. This is all in the hope that these men and women can be reintegrated into society as the government prefers to rehabilitate them rather then take a shoot-to-kill stance,” he said.

Bukit Aman’s deputy CID director Deputy Commissioner Datuk Law Hong Soon said the government was also tightening security around Sabah’s eastern waters to prevent kidnapping cases and criminal activities.

“We have intensified our efforts along with members of the joint task force under the  Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to conduct crime prevention activities along the Sabah coast line and the smaller islands,” he said.

“By working closer together with our partners in the Philippines and utilising advanced assets such radar and surveillance equipment, we are confident that security conditions will continue to improve.”

Law also addressed gun violence, saying that most cases were planned with a target and a motive.

“Financial and domestic disputes are among the reasons. However, gangland violence is also part of such incidents,” he said.

“Secret societies or gangs are being monitored with follow-up action via arrests and other enforcement actions.”

Also present was at the briefing were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. 

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