Po­lice probe IS hit list

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­times.com

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.

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