Police probe IS hit list
The Myanmar government is monitoring a probe by its Malaysian counterpart into the origins of a list linked to the Islamic State that included Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s name.
MYANMAR’s government will monitor an investigation by its Malaysian counterpart into a hit list purportedly penned by a member or sympathiser of the Islamic State terrorist group that includes the name of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and several Malaysian leaders.
The Malaysian prime minister, his deputy, the country’s attorney and police inspector generals, and a handful of cabinet ministers were listed along with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in a two-page letter headlined “IS threat”, reported The Star, a Malaysian newspaper majority-owned by one of the country’s main political parties, on August 2.
It reported that photocopied photographs of the targeted leaders were appended to the letter, which Malaysian officials were attempting to determine the authenticity of. Malaysian police suspect the unidentified sender “was attempting to boast about the influence of IS in Malaysia”, according to The Star.
The threatening letter was reportedly sent to a police station in Negri Sembilan, a Malaysia state southeast of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
U Zaw Htay, deputy director general of Myanmar’s President’s Office, told The Myanmar Times yesterday that the government was taking the threat seriously and would not be dismissive of the potential for harmful intent.
“We won’t be careless about their threatening. But we also don’t worry about the security of the state counsellor. The IS has always sent early messages in previous incidents, such as [attacks] in France and the US. Some have really played out, so we need to be alert about it,” he said, adding that Myanmar’s government collaborates with the international policing body Interpol and fellow ASEAN countries on potential threats posed by the IS, also known as ISIS.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is primarily responsible for the state counsellor’s safety, providing her bodyguards, convoy protection, and outdoor and indoor security arrangements.
A spokesperson for the ministry declined to offer details on any adjustments to future security protocols for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Star quoted Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Malaysian police inspector general who was also named as a target, saying law enforcement authorities would not take the matter lightly and would work to determine who was behind the threats.
“The motive is unclear as several foreign leaders were also mentioned in the letters. These threats will not weaken our spirits in carrying out our duties as police personnel,” he was quoted as saying.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had planned a trip to Malaysia this month to visit the sizeable contingent of Myanmar migrant workers living in the fellow Southeast Asian nation, but a member of her cabinet told The Myanmar Times last week that her increasingly busy schedule might not allow it in the near term.