IGP: Six detained in anti-terror swoop, Johor Freemason building terror plot thwarted

IGP Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun speaks during a press conference after a crime prevention patrol in Kuala Lumpur January 24, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
IGP Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun speaks during a press conference after a crime prevention patrol in Kuala Lumpur January 24, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Six suspected terrorists, including one who had planned to attack the Freemason building in Johor, have been detained in anti-terror raids in Selangor, Johor and Sabah.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said one of the suspects arrested in Johor on December 19 was a Singaporean national aged 48 who had direct links to Malaysian militant chief Akel Zainal, who recruits terrorists for the Islamic State (IS) group based in Syria.

“The suspect, a businessman from Singapore was found to have channeled funds to the Malaysian militant leader to finance the group’s terror activities.

“Investigations showed the suspect was also involved in recruiting local militants to help plan and launch an attack at the Freemason building in Johor after receiving instructions from Akel Zainal,” Mohamad Fuzi said in a statement today.

Akel Zainal, whose real name is Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin, went to Syria on January 3, 2014. Bukit Aman’s Counter-Terrorism department has previously confirmed that intelligence gathered indicated that he was active in firefights and terror operations in Syria and had in the past planned several attacks in Malaysia.

The second arrest during the anti-terror raid involved the arrest of a Bangladeshi suspect in Klang on December 19.

Mohamad Fuzi said the suspect, aged 31 and who works as a cleaner, was detained for supporting IS and was involved in recruiting local militants for the extremist group.

Mohamad Fuzi also said on January 10, the Bukit Aman Special Branch and Counter-Terrorism department arrested two local suspects, both aged 38, who were deported to Malaysia after they were found to have channeled funds to IS militants while working at a farm in a foreign country.

“Intelligence gathered suggested that the duo had channeled funds to Malaysian IS militant Khairul Amizan Azmi who had joined IS and is currently in Syria,” he said.  

The department also scored another hit when they arrested a Filipino man who is a member of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), known for its kidnapping-for-ransom cases in southern Philippines and Sabah.

“The suspect aged 21 had illegally entered Malaysia in March 2018 and have been working at a construction site. The suspect is highly skilled in handling firearms and has direct connections with Furuji Indama, the current leader of ASG,” he said.

Mohamad Fuzi said police also arrested another terror suspect from a South Asia country in Puchong after police received information that the suspect, aged 26, has been giving protection to another terror suspect whose name is listed under Interpol’s red notice for his involvement in serious terror activities.

All suspects were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).