Malaysia arrests three men for suspected ISIS links

KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian authorities have arrested three men for suspected links with ISIS, police said yesterday.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has been on high alert since an attack in January last year in Jakarta, the capital of neighbouring Indonesia, by militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were detained in three separate raids from last Friday to Sunday.

Police also confiscated a shotgun and an air rifle.

Tan Sri Khalid did not identify the suspects, but said one of them, a 38-year-old Malaysian, had posted a plan to carry out a bomb attack in capital Kuala Lumpur on his Facebook page.

Another of the suspects is an Indonesian with Malaysian residency working as a security guard with national carrier Malaysia Airlines.


The three suspects taken away by Malaysian police comprised two Malaysians and an Indonesian with Malaysian residency who worked as a security guard with national carrier Malaysia Airlines. PHOTOS: ROYAL MALAYSIAN POLICE

He and the third suspect, another Malaysian, were believed to have been planning to join ISIS militants in Syria, Mr Khalid said. The three face charges of suspected involvement in terrorism, he added.

Malaysia has not seen a serious militant attack, but the authorities say they have disrupted several plots. Seven people were wounded in a grenade blast at a bar near Kuala Lumpur in June last year, in an attack for which ISIS had claimed responsibility.

Malaysia arrested more than 250 people between 2013 and last year for suspected militant activity linked to ISIS.

According to police data, 91 Malaysians had gone to fight in the Middle East as of October last year. Of this number, eight had returned to Malaysia and 24 had been killed in the fighting there.

Last week, the authorities said they arrested four people with links to an ISIS cell based in the southern Philippines.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysia arrests three men for suspected ISIS links'. Print Edition | Subscribe