KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Two Malaysians believed to be linked to Islamic State (IS) terrorists were arrested over alleged plots to attack several key areas including entertainment spots in the Klang Valley, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.
Khalid noted that the two arrests made on July 2 and July 7 indicated that a worrying worldwide trend was becoming prevalent in Malaysia.
“The latest arrests involving local suspects that were planning to launch attacks after communicating with senior members of the terrorist group Islamic State in Syria is the latest trend that is very worrying.
“This is in line with the latest modus operandi of attack by individuals that are either sympathetic, influenced by terrorist ideology or receive orders from senior members of Syria’s Islamic State to launch attacks in their respective countries such as the attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait at the end of last month,” he said in a statement today.
“The two suspects had met several times around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor since the end of 2014 to discuss plans to launch attacks in Malaysia,” he also said.
According to Khalid, the first suspect nabbed on July 2 is a 28-year-old, who has been given orders since mid-2014 by two Europeans wielding senior IS membership posts to “launch attacks on Western interests in Kuala Lumpur and entertainment spots around the Klang Valley”.
The Kuala Lumpur native was first exposed to IS ideology in 2012 and has close ties to a Malaysian who died in a suicide attack in Syria on November 9, 2014 — Ahmad Affendi Manaf — Khalid said.
The second suspect, who was nabbed on July 7, is aged 31 and also from Kuala Lumpur. This person went to Syria to join a terrorist group early last year, but returned to Malaysia last August due to injuries in a battle there.
During the arrests, police seized books on jihad (holy warfare) and the teachings of “Salafi Jihadi” and receipts of purchases of tactical gear, Khalid said.
The two suspects were arrested for committing terrorism offences under the Penal Code’s Chapter VI A and will be probed according to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, he also said.
Last August, Malaysian police counter-terrorism deputy chief Ayob Khan Mydin confirmed that local IS followers nabbed had admitted to plotting attacks on a disco, pubs in Kuala Lumpur and Danish beer-maker Carlsberg’s factory in Petaling Jaya.
In early April, police said they nabbed 17 individuals during a secret meeting to plot the kidnap of high profile-figures and attack places in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and the Klang Valley.
Among other things, the group that is said to have expertise in handling weapons were planning to rob banks to fund their activities, raid army camps and police stations to obtain weapons, and obtain supplies from a neighbouring country’s terrorist group.
In late April, local police nabbed 12 suspected militants while they were planning to test explosives in a Hulu Langat jungle and seized bomb-making materials during the arrest.
To date, at least 100 individuals suspected of militant activities have been nabbed by local police.