Malaysia's police arrest 3 suspected ISIS militants planning attacks on eve of National Day

The three suspects were picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in the city, Selangor and Pahang between Aug 27 and Aug 29. They were planning attack on the eve of National Day, which is on Wednesday (Aug 31).
The three suspects were picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in the city, Selangor and Pahang between Aug 27 and Aug 29. They were planning attack on the eve of National Day, which is on Wednesday (Aug 31).PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK/REUTERS) - The Malaysian police have arrested three suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants who were planning attacks on entertainment outlets, a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and police stations.

The trio were planning to attack their targets using grenades and firearms on the eve of National Day.

They were picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang between last Saturday (Aug 27) and Monday (Aug 29).

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the three suspects had been receiving orders from ISIS militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi.

"The first suspect - a 20-year-old man - was detained in Selangor on Aug 27 with a K75 grenade and a pistol along with 9mm bullets.

"We believe he obtained the weapons from a middleman," Khalid said in a statement on Wednesday.

The two other suspects, aged 27 and 20, were detained on Aug 29.

"They were planning to go to Syria once they managed to attack the targets," he said.

Police said they had seized a grenade and a handgun with 24 bullets from one of the suspects, who works as a lorry driver.

The two others worked as a butcher and a drinks seller.

Wanndy is a Malaysian known to be fighting with ISIS and is seen as the man responsible for ordering a grenade attack in June on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the Islamist group's first successful assault in Malaysia.

Police arrested nine people believed to have ISIS links in the aftermath of the grenade attack.

Earlier this month, Malaysia revoked the passports of 68 Malaysians who have been identified as leaving the country to join ISIS.

Police intelligence reportedly said in March that 18 Malaysians had been killed while fighting with the group in Syria, and that seven others were killed carrying out suicide attacks for the group.

There have not been any reports of Malaysian ISIS fighters returning home.

The authorities in Malaysia have been on high alert since ISIS-linked militants carried out an armed attack in the capital of neighbouring Indonesia in January.

In June, ISIS released a video of its fighters from South-east Asia calling on its supporters to unify under one umbrella group and launch attacks in the region.

A total of 230 people, including 200 Malaysians, were arrested between 2013 and early August this year for involvement in militant activities linked to ISIS.