Malaysia nabs 9 more suspected ISIS militants

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian police have detained nine suspected ISIS militants, including two men linked to the bombing of a nightclub in Selangor in June.

Those nabbed in the swoop in four states between July 20 and Aug 9 include a 17-year-old youth from Sabah, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told a news conference, bringing the total number of arrests of suspected militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group to at least 240.

Two of the men who were linked to the attack on a nightspot in Puchong, Selangor, were found hiding in hilly terrain in Kelantan state. They were among a group of men who had planned the attack on the Movida club, located about 25km south-west of Kuala Lumpur, the inspector-general of police said.

Police said the attack was based on orders from Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, a Malaysian ISIS member based in Syria. The duo were waiting for further orders from Mohamad Wanndy "to launch an attack on an entertainment outlet in Johor Baru", said Tan Sri Khalid.

Late last month, a 21-year-old factory worker and a jobless man, 24, pleaded guilty to throwing a hand grenade into Movida in what police had described as the first successful strike by ISIS in Malaysia. They have not been sentenced. Eight people were injured in that attack.

Of the 17-year-old suspect, Mr Khalid said: "The suspect planned to launch a lone wolf attack to kill non-Muslims in Sandakan."

Sandakan is a large town in Sabah. Mr Khalid said the youth had also threatened in a Facebook posting to kill the police chief.

Among the nine nabbed were three foreigners. Mr Khalid said they were waiting for forged travel documents to launch an attack on a country in the Middle East.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 14, 2016, with the headline 'Malaysia nabs 9 more suspected ISIS militants'. Print Edition | Subscribe