Malaysian Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed today that 7 Islamic State (IS) militants have been detained in multiple swoops nationwide since Friday (22nd January).
The suspects, aged between 26 and 50, were detained in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kedah, Pahang, and Selangor by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division.
The Star Online quoted IGP as saying, “They were arrested in special operations held since Friday. The suspects were planning attacks on strategic locations in the country.”
He didn’t elaborate on the locations.
He did, however, reveal that one of them had received orders from known militant Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi who had previously been linked to a beheading video in Syria. Another was ordered by Indonesian Katibah Nusantara leader Bahrom Naim, the man who ordered the 14th January 2016 attack in Jakarta which killed 7 people.
The operation was launched in 4 states on Friday, ahead of Monday’s International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism that Malaysia is hosting.
Among the items seized were 30 bullets of different calibres, books on jihad (Islamic holy war), IS flags, and a propaganda video. The suspects were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
On 15th January, a 27-year-old man suspected to be linked to ISIS was arrested at the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station in Jelatek in Kuala Lumpur. He had planned a lone-wolf attack on an entertainment outlet in the city.