BOMB PLOT FOILED

NINE men with links to Is­lamic State were ar­rested in a co­or­di­nated na­tion­wide swoop af­ter their plan to blow up a po­lice sta­tion in Ta­pah was in­ter­cepted. The group had al­ready sourced weapons and high ex­plo­sives from In­done­sia and Thai­land. It is be­liev

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

RAHMAT KHAIRULRIJAL KUALA LUMPUR rahmat@nst.com.my

ATELEGRAM chat group called “Ga­gak Hi­tam” (Black Crows), used by Is­lamic State sym­pa­this­ers na­tion­wide, has led po­lice to foil an au­da­cious at­tempt to blow up the Ta­pah po­lice sta­tion.

The mil­i­tants had planned to bomb the po­lice sta­tion in Perak us­ing ex­plo­sives that were to be smug­gled in from south­ern Thai­land and In­done­sia.

The group, formed in the mid­dle of last year, had started lay­ing the ground­work for their plan by con­tact­ing IS fol­low­ers in two neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

They had sought out coun­ter­parts in In­done­sia and south­ern Thai­land to get the ex­plo­sives, but po­lice got wind of the plans through the Tele­gram group.

It was learnt that the group wanted to get IEDs (im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices) sourced from the two neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to carry out their at­tack on the Ta­pah sta­tion.

Two sus­pects had al­ready es­tab­lished close ties with sev­eral IS cells in Poso, In­done­sia, but their plan was foiled fol­low­ing the ar­rest of two sus­pects in Ta­pah and Bi­dor in Perak on March 17.

The sus­pects are a 31-year-old restau­rant worker and a 28-yearold vet­eri­nary shop owner.

Po­lice be­lieve the plan to bomb the po­lice sta­tion was un­der the di­rect or­der of Malaysian IS leader in Syria, Muham­mad Wan­ndy Mo­hamed Jedi.

The IS group in Malaysia had been di­rected to bomb the sta­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.

It was learnt the Ta­pah po­lice sta­tion was cho­sen for no other rea­son than be­cause it was lo­cated close to the sus­pects’ home­town.

Mem­bers of the same Tele­gram group are also be­lieved to have been re­spon­si­ble for the grenade at­tack at the Movida club in Pu­chong last year.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, in a state­ment yes­ter­day, said nine IS mil­i­tants had been ar­rested fol­low­ing a ma­jor swoop by the Bukit Aman Spe­cial Branch Coun­terT­er­ror­ism Divi­sion in five states be­tween March 15 and Tues­day.

The sus­pects, aged be­tween 26 and 46, were de­tained in op­er­a­tions in Se­lan­gor, Perak, Kedah, Ke­lan­tan and Jo­hor.

Those ar­rested in­cluded a pri­mary school teacher, a Pus­pakom tech­ni­cian, a se­cu­rity guard, a me­chanic, a cy­ber­cafe worker and a re­sort worker.

“The teacher ad­mit­ted to spread­ing the salafi ji­hadi ide­ol­ogy of the IS group via Face­book to re­cruit peo­ple to join the ter­ror­ist group,” Khalid said.

He said in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that the se­cu­rity guard was be­lieved to have planned to sneak out of Malaysia to join IS in Syria or south­ern Philip­pines.

He said the last ar­rest was on March 21 and in­volved three men — from Kota Baru, Ke­lan­tan, and Sega­mat and Kota Tinggi, Jo­hor.

The 46-year-old sus­pect from Kota Baru, a se­cu­rity guard, was be­lieved to have been in­volved in re­cruit­ing IS mem­bers.

The 20-year-old sus­pect from Sega­mat worked at a cy­ber cafe, while the third sus­pect, also 20, from Kota Tinggi, worked at a re­sort.

Khalid said all sus­pects were de­tained on sus­pi­cion of com­mit­ting crimes un­der Chap­ter VIA of the Pe­nal Code (Act 574) and would be in­ves­ti­gated un­der the Se­cu­rity Of­fences Act (Spe­cial Mea­sures) 2012 (Act 747).

PIX COUR­TESY OF THE PO­LICE

A man ar­rested in Ta­pah is among nine sus­pects nabbed be­tween March 15 and Tues­day in five states on sus­pi­cion of links to the Is­lamic State.

OF THE PO­LICE PIC COUR­TESY

A Pus­pakom tech­ni­cian was held in Klang re­cently. Page 1 pic: A sus­pect with links to the Is­lamic State was held in Kota Baru re­cently.

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