Malaysia's police detain 5 for suspected links to terror groups

A police officer in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 20.
A police officer in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 20. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (Bloomberg) - Malaysia detained four foreign nationals and one local on suspected links to terror groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the police said in statement on Saturday (Dec 5).

The five men, aged between 25 and 59, were detained in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the country between Nov 17 and Dec 1. Three of the suspects were arrested for links to ISIS, said Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar in the statement.

An Indonesian suspect was the alleged cell leader of the group and was believed to have sworn an oath of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi through Facebook in 2014, the police said.

"He and the Malaysian suspect are responsible for recruiting new members from Malaysia and other South-east Asian countries and arranging for them to travel to Syria," Tan Sri Khalid said.

A "Bangladeshi suspect was planning to travel to Syria as well", he said.

The other two detainees were from Europe and Africa, according to the police officer.

The European suspect had links to Al-Qaeda and was suspected of being involved in terror activities in Bosnia and Afghanistan, the Malaysian police said.