Cops nab local who swore allegiance to IS through Facebook, on the way to join Egyptian cell

IGP Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, through a statement today, said the local suspect had since early 2018 pledged his allegiance twice to IS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi after making contact through Facebook. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
IGP Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, through a statement today, said the local suspect had since early 2018 pledged his allegiance twice to IS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi after making contact through Facebook. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — A local man who had pledged his allegiance to terror group Islamic State (IS) through Facebook was among three suspects nabbed by the Bukit Aman Special Counter Terrorism Division over the last two weeks, police has said.

The 42-year-old contractor was arrested from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on May 17 just as he was about to board a flight to Egypt to join with the local IS cell there, in Sinai, before infiltrating in Syria.

Inspector General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, through a statement today, said the local suspect had since early 2018 pledged his allegiance twice to IS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi after making contact through Facebook. 

Abdul Hamid explained how the suspect was a strong believer of the ultra-conservative Salafist brand of Islam, and among others rejects a parliamentary democracy, disapproves of the federal government, and brands any religious institution as infidels.

“Even Muslims that were involved and took part in the elections were also labeled infidels which they saw as reason enough to justify killing them,” he explained, referring to the terrorists.

The second suspect nabbed by the Counter-Terrorism operatives was a 20-year old Indonesian man working as a labourer, arrested from Keningau, Sabah, who had pledged his own allegiance to Al-Baghdadi through the Telegram messaging app.

Abdul Hamid said investigations revealed the suspect was functioning as a middleman transiting fellow Indonesian IS supporters from Sabah into Southern Philippines and had even funded Maute terrorists in that area.

“The suspect acted as a facilitator for fellow IS sympathisers, who once having infiltrated into Southern Philippines would go on and launch suicide bombing attacks,” he explained, adding the suspect was arrested before he could leave to join the terrorists in Syria as intended.

Counter terrorism operatives also nabbed a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man from Kuala Kedah on May 30, who was working as an assistant vessel mechanic there.

“The suspect is believed to be a sympathiser of the Bangladeshi IS faction, and was arrested with chemicals and is said to possess the expertise to produce improvised explosive devices,” said the statement.

Abdul Hamid said all the suspects would be investigated under provisions allowed in the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, after being suspect to have committed offenses related to terrorism under the Chapter VIA of the Penal code.

He added that police are on the hunt for one more person from Kampung Keritan Laut Keningau, Sabah, another Indonesian male identified only as Marwan said to be in his 30s, urging those with information to come forward and assist police investigations.

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