3 ar­rested over sus­pected ter­ror links in Malaysia

One ‘tried to pro­duce a bomb 3 times’ af­ter be­ing taught by the coun­try’s most wanted ter­ror­ist

Today - - WORLD | NEWS -

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s po­lice have ar­rested three peo­ple sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the Is­lamic State (IS) ter­ror group.

This in­cluded a man who was said to have re­ceived in­struc­tions from Mah­mud Ah­mad, now Malaysia’s most wanted ter­ror­ist, and from a Saudi Ara­bian bomb-mak­ing expert on how to make a large-scale im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED).

The man had also been in­structed to pur­chase hand grenades and var­i­ous weapons to be used in at­tacks on non-Mus­lims in Malaysia and their places of wor­ship. In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, po­lice chief Mo­hamad Fuzi Harun said the trio were ar­rested be­tween Sep 8 and 10 in Perak, Se­lan­gor and Malacca. He said the first to be picked up was the man with links to Mah­mud and the Saudi Ara­bian bomb-mak­ing expert, adding that the 21-year-old also had links to the Al Qaeda and Abu Sayyaf ter­ror groups.

“The job­less man was ar­rested on Sept 8 in Ba­gan Serai, Perak ... he had sworn his bai’ah (al­le­giance) to the Is­lamic State ear­lier this year.

The sus­pect also ad­mit­ted that he has been taught by Dr Mah­mud and a Saudi Ara­bian bomb expert on how to pro­duce an IED on a large scale.

“He has tried to pro­duce the bomb three times,” said the po­lice chief. “The sus­pect also re­ceived in­struc­tion from an­other se­nior Malaysian IS fighter in Syria on how to pur­chase a pis­tol, M-16 and AK-47 as­sault ri­fles, along with a hand grenade from a neigh­bour­ing coun­try, and launch an at­tack on non-Mus­lims and their places of wor­ship.”

Po­lice also seized a num­ber of chem­i­cal ma­te­ri­als be­lieved to be part of the items used to pro­duce the IED, said Mr Fuzi.

Two days af­ter the ar­rest of the man in Perak, the au­thor­i­ties also de­tained a 38-year-old chen­dol seller who was ac­tively pro­mot­ing the IS.

“He was ar­rested on Sept 10 in Malacca for pro­duc­ing IS flags and ac­tively pro­mot­ing the ter­ror group. The sus­pect planned to join mil­i­tants in the south­ern Philip­pines and Rakhine in Myan­mar,” said Mr Fuzi.

The third sus­pect was ar­rested in Pe­tal­ing Jaya, also on Sept 10. The 41-year-old bus driver was plan­ning

The sus­pect also re­ceived in­struc­tion from an­other se­nior Malaysian IS fighter on how to pur­chase a pis­tol, M-16 and AK-47 as­sault ri­fles, along with a hand grenade from a neigh­bour­ing coun­try. Mo­hamad Fuzi Harun Po­lice chief

to travel to Syria at the end of the year to join the IS there.

All three were de­tained un­der Malaysia’s Se­cu­rity Of­fences Act (Spe­cial Mea­sures) 2012.

Un­der the Act, po­lice may de­tain a sus­pect for 28 days and with­hold legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion for two days.

Since 2013, Malaysia has ar­rested more than 250 peo­ple on sus­pi­cion of hav­ing links to the IS.

Last month, the po­lice thwarted a plan by a mem­ber of the IS linked to Abu Sayyaf to stage an at­tack dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the South­east Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur. NEW STRAITS TIMES

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