KL nabs 3 ISIS suspects plotting major attacks

Police and army officers patroling at Kuala Lumpur Sentral railway station amid the tighter security measures following the grenade attack at a nightspot in Puchong which was linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
Police and army officers patroling at Kuala Lumpur Sentral railway station amid the tighter security measures following the grenade attack at a nightspot in Puchong which was linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group. PHOTO: THE STAR

The Malaysian police have arrested three suspected militants, foiling plans of terrorist attacks just before the country celebrated its 59th independence day yesterday.

The three men, all in their 20s, belonged to the Malaysian cell of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and were arrested between Aug 27 and 29.

The police confiscated a hand grenade, a pistol and 24 bullets from one of those detained.

"They received orders from Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi to launch attacks on entertainment outlets in Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves Hindu temple and police stations or any police officers by using hand grenade or firearms on the eve of independence day 2016," said police chief Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement.

Wanndy is also known as Abu Hamzah, a Malaysian terrorist in Syria.

The men were arrested separately in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang. Police said the weapons came from a middleman linked to Wanndy.

The trio - a butcher, a truck driver and a drink seller - also planned to escape to Syria with the help of Wanndy after launching their attacks.

Officials named Wanndy as the mastermind behind Malaysia's first confirmed ISIS attack in June, when eight people were injured in a grenade attack on a bar in Puchong. Wanndy denied issuing such orders in a Facebook post in July.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2016, with the headline 'KL nabs 3 ISIS suspects plotting major attacks'. Print Edition | Subscribe