KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) revealed today they have apprehended four men who were planning terror attacks and assassinations in Malaysia in the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
They comprised two from the Rohingya ethnic group, one Indonesian, and one Malaysian, who were caught in raids conducted between May 5 and 7 in Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya, and Kuala Berang in Terengganu.
The suspects admitted to being part of an Islamic State (IS) cell, and were planning revenge attacks on non-Muslims for the death of firemen Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
“Our counter terrorism unit found a ‘wolf pack’ allied with IS who were planning to assassinate high profile targets and launch simultaneous terror attacks on entertainment outlets as well as Hindu and Buddhist temples and Christian churches,” said Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador during a press conference at Bukit Aman.
“All four suspects admitted to planning attacks during the first week of Ramadhan to exact revenge for the death of firemen Muhammad Adib who died during the Seafield temple riots.
“They planned to kill those they felt offended Islam or didn’t defend Muslim rights,” he added.
The first arrest was made in Kuala Berang, Terengganu on May 5 where a 34-year-old labourer suspected to be the mastermind of this cell.
The police found a 9mm CZ pistol with 15 bullets and six Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) measuring 18cm long.
The subsequent arrests were made on May 7.
Two Rohingyas aged 20 and 25, one with a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) tag, were picked up in Kuala Lumpur and Old Klang Road while the Indonesian who was working at a zinc factory was apprehended in Subang Jaya.
“One of the Rohingya is a member of ARSA and was planning to attack the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur and then perform Jihad in Rakhine,” said Abdul Hamid, referring to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
“The Indonesian, aged 49, was planning to perform Jihad in Syria while the other Rohingya labourer admitted to being part of IS.
“All of them will be charged under the Act 574 of the Penal Code and will be investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.”
Abdul Hamid also said that they are three more suspects at large.
Syazani Mahzan, aged 35, and Muhammad Nuurul Amin Azizan, aged 27, were last seen in Bedong, Kedah and are suspected IS members planning terror attacks on holy places.
The third is an Indonesian individual named Fatir Tir, a labourer, who was last spotted in Banting, Selangor.
“Those with information of these individuals are urged to contact Assistant Superintendent Manivanan Sibalingam at 017-3278435 or go to any police station to assist the police with investigations,” said Abdul Hamid.
The police believe the weapons and bombs they confiscated may have come from Syria, and are trying to find the IS member who is most likely to have been in contact with the three suspects.
“We believe these weapons could have come from neighbouring countries,” said Abdul Hamid.
“We’re trying to locate the contact person these three had in Syria. We know he’s called either Akhil Sham or Akhil Zainal.
“We can’t be sure at the moment but investigations are ongoing,” he added.