KL arrests 7 with suspected terror links

Police leading away a suspect linked to terror groups during a raid in the Klang Valley last month.
Police leading away a suspect linked to terror groups during a raid in the Klang Valley last month.PHOTO: ROYAL MALAYSIA POLICE

Two of them had orders from ISIS militant to carry out attacks in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR • Seven men, four of them Yemenis, have been detained in the Klang Valley for suspected links to terror groups.

The seven were picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division between Feb 21 and Feb 26 following multiple raids.

The suspects are a 41-year-old Malaysian factory technician, a 28-year-old Indonesian farmer, a 37-year-old East Asian man, and the four Yemenis.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the Malaysian and Indonesian suspects were detained in Kepong in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 21. They were taking orders from known Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, said Tan Sri Khalid.

"They were ordered to prepare a large-scale vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) for attacks in Malaysia before making their way to Syria to join (ISIS) there," said Mr Khalid in a statement yesterday. "The Indonesian man was previously deported from Turkey after attempting to illegally enter Syria."

PLAN FOR ATTACKS

They were ordered to prepare a large-scale vehicle-borne improvised explosive device for attacks in Malaysia before making their way to Syria to join (ISIS) there... The Indonesian man was previously deported from Turkey after attempting to illegally enter Syria.

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE KHALID ABU BAKAR, on the Malaysian and Indonesian suspects who were detained in Kepong in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 21. They were taking orders from known ISIS militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi.

VBIED is the technical term for a car or truck bomb.

The East Asian suspect was detained on Feb 23. Said Mr Khalid: "He had entered Malaysia in 2011 using a student visa believed to be fake, and enrolled in a public institution of higher learning in the Klang Valley. He has ties with an East Asian terror group that used Malaysia as a transit point and a hideout."

He added that the suspect has ties with another East Asian terrorist, who is responsible for arranging safe passage for the group's members to join ISIS in Syria.

The four Yemenis were detained in Cyberjaya in Sepang on Feb 26. "They are suspected of being part of a rebel faction in Yemen," said Mr Khalid. "They were also involved in a syndicate specialising in falsifying travel documents."

International passports and RM270,000 (S$85,500) worth of foreign currencies were also seized.

The latest arrests followed several raids in January, when three men with suspected links to ISIS were rounded up by the authorities. One of them, a 38-year-old Malaysian, had posted a plan to carry out a bomb attack in Kuala Lumpur on his Facebook page.

Another suspect is an Indonesian with Malaysian residency working as a security guard with national carrier Malaysia Airlines. He and the third suspect, a Malaysian, were believed to have been planning to join ISIS militants in Syria.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June last year wounded eight people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, the first such strike on Malaysian soil.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'KL arrests 7 with suspected terror links'. Print Edition | Subscribe