KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police have detained an 18-year-old youth in north-eastern Kelantan state for making a bomb, and is suspected of having links to terrorism.
The teenager was among several people arrested for suspected involvement with terrorist groups, national police chief Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said.
He declined to elaborate.
“It is too early to reveal any details but I will release a statement about this in three days,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Police Training Centre on Friday (Oct13).
In a separate development, he said Malaysia’s Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division had also arrested 45 foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) in a series of operations between January and Oct 6 this year.
The arrests, the IGP said in a statement on Friday, were made based on intelligence that remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been instructed to infiltrate other countries to launch attacks after losing the majority of their bases in Iraq and Syria.
“We also discovered cooperation between IS and other terrorist groups, including the ASG in sending militants to Malaysia to launch attacks,” he said, referring to ISIS, the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jamaatul Mujahideen.
“The ASG members who entered Malaysia are suspected to have planned on launching attacks here, but other terrorists (from different groups) on the other hand, are suspected of seeking shelter, collecting funds, planning to either launch attacks here or using Malaysia as their operation base to launch attacks at other countries,” he said.
Mr Mohamad Fuzi added that the success of the operations is the result of cooperation with foreign intelligence and enforcement agencies.
“The police will continue to monitor and take action against FTF to make sure that all attempts to launch attacks (in Malaysia) are stopped,” he said.
Mr Mohamad Fuzi also revealed that of the total number of foreign fighters detained, 31 were members of ISIS, with three of them identified as southern Iraq commanders.
The others comprise nine ASG militants, three from the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation, one Albanian militant affiliated to ISIS, while another is linked to Bangladesh terror group, Jamaatul Mujahideen.
Thus far, 13 have been brought to court, 12 were deported back to their respective countries, seven were freed while one has been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015. The remaining 12 were still under investigation.