350 PICKED UP IN OP
Some foreigners detained may have links to IS branch
THE Federal Special Branch CounterTerrorism Division (SBCT-D) raided shoplots in Nilai 3, Negri Sembilan, yesterday, picking up 350 foreigners.
Some of those picked up were believed to be linked to the Islamic State of Khorasan province (ISKP) organisation, who had been in hiding in the country.
ISKP is a branch of the Islamic State (IS) and operates in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the three-hour operation, 742 shops in the area known for wholesale stores were checked in a joint operation by enforcement agencies.
It included 321 members of the General Operations Force, Traffic division, as well as the Federal Reserve Unit, Forensics, K9 unit, Special Action, Bomb Disposal units, Civil Defence Force, as well as the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.
SBCT-D principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the operation was a follow-up to the one in Masjid India here, where 400 foreigners were arrested on Aug 6.
“Based on the intelligence from the operation at Masjid India, we suspected that foreigners who were involved with ISKP have moved from Masjid India to Nilai 3 to assimilate themselves with other foreigners,” said Ayob.
He said the chances that some of these detainees being IS members were high.
The individuals picked up in the joint operation comprised individuals from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Ayob said the suspects were taken to the Sepang district police headquarters for a screening, which will be based on the database of the Interpol Foreign Fighters Terrorist List as well as the Counter Terrorist List.
Police also seized four swords and a sledgehammer in a carpet shop.
Ayob said the outcome of the screening would be obtained today.
The New Straits Times reported in May that Malaysia had been made the unwitting recipient of foreign fighters prevented from entering Syria to fight alongside IS.