Malaysian police say concerned over Indonesian militant in Syria ordering attacks

Malaysian Special Force police members demonstrate their skills during the Independence Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug 31, 2016.
Malaysian Special Force police members demonstrate their skills during the Independence Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug 31, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian police are concerned that an Indonesian militant in Syria has been instigating Malaysian sympathisers of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to attack selective targets in the country.

The Counter-Terrorism Division of the Special Branch in Bukit Aman said that militant Bahrum Shah was found to have been ordering attacks on certain Western interests, the government and security forces.

Its division head DCP Datuk Ayob Khan said this in his keynote address at the IACSP Asean Security Symposium in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Sept 6).

DCP Ayob later told reporters that the police were concerned over the matter as Bahrum has a lot of funds.

"When you have funds you can launch attacks on a big scale. If you look at al-Qaeda previously, the money that came into Malaysia from Afghanistan was used to finance the Bali bombings.

"If money comes in from Syria, in the short-term, they will launch a big attack. That is what we are worried about. We have to cut their channels," he said.

According to a report by the Jakarta Post, Bahrum Shah is believed to be the commander of Katibah Nusantara, the joint group of Indonesian and Malaysian ISIS fighters formed in late 2014.

DCP Ayob also named Bahrun Naim and Abu Jandal as two more Indonesian militants who were ordering attacks in the region.

Malaysia has not been spared by ISIS, with police saying that a bombing at the Movida night club in June was the first ever successful ISIS attack in the country.

DCP Ayob added that 13 plots of terror attacks by ISIS in Kuala Lumpur had failed, with seven of them being ordered from Syria.

Since February 2013, Malaysian police have arrested 239 people for terrorism-related activities.