Malaysia arrests 1 suspected ISIS militant in KL, 3 others deported from Turkey

Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the man was arrested at the Jelatek LRT station.
Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the man was arrested at the Jelatek LRT station. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters/AFP/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian police said on Saturday (Jan 16) that they had arrested a suspected militant with weapons and documents related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group at a train station in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a tweet that the man, a 28-year-old from Terengganu, was arrested on Friday at an LRT station in Jelatik, close to the centre of the city.

"Congratulations E8 CK (anti-terror unit) for arresting one male suspect on Friday at a train station.... Weapon and ISIS documents were confiscated (from the suspect)," the police chief said on his Twitter account.

The train station is located near the iconic Petronas Towers in the heart of the capital Kuala Lumpur and houses a huge shopping mall frequented by foreigners.

The country's counter-terrorism assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay later confirmed to AFP that a knife and ISIS documents were confiscated at the suspect's house.

In a statement, Tan Sri Khalid Khalid said the 28-year old Malaysian admitted that he was planning to be a suicide bomber.

"The suspect admitted that he had planned a suicide attack in Malaysia and was awaiting instructions from a member of ISIS in Syria," he said.

"He had received orders from an ISIS leader in Syria to target Malaysia.

"This man was also responsible for putting up ISIS flags in Terengganu, Perak, Selangor and Johor," Mr Khalid said, adding that the flags were intended to warn the authorities against taking action on ISIS members.

The arrest brings the number of Malaysians arrested this month for ISIS links to four.

The police chief added that on Jan 11, three Malaysian ISIS suspects, including a married couple, were arrested by security forces after being deported from Turkey.

"They were first detained in Turkey while attempting to sneak into Syria to join ISIS fighters," Mr Khalid said. "The three suspects arrested in Gaziantep, Turkey were sent back to Malaysia last Monday."

"They were recruited by Malaysian militant Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi also known as Abu Hamzah, through Facebook and Telegram. He had also arranged for their passage to Syria," he said.

Malaysia has been on high alert since bomb and gun attacks in neighbouring Indonesia's capital city on Thursday.

Security has been beefed up security in public areas and the country is taking extra measures to secure border areas fearing inflitration of terrorists.

Indonesian police killed one suspected militant and arrested two more in raids across the country on Friday, a day after an attack by ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen in Jakarta that killed seven people.