Some for­eign­ers de­tained may have links to IS branch

New Straits Times - - News / Nation - FAISAL ASYRAF KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

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.

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