New terror group in Malaysia 'ready to hit Western targets': Report

KUALA LUMPUR - The new terror group being systematically hunted down by Malaysian police was ready to launch a sustained terror campaign in the country, including bombings against Western and American interests and anything else that stood in its way, a local newspaper reported.

With Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Kumpulan Mujahiddin Malaysia (KMM) effectively neutralised and unable to carry out their operations, this new organisation had "borrowed" the two terror groups' playbook and revisited their foiled elaborate plans of attacks and was ready to carry them out, New Straits Times reported on Friday.

Sources close to the on-going investigations told the paper that the new terror group was not averse to using violence to fight secularism.

Among the targets in the group's strike folders were foreign embassies, as well as entertainment outlets and places frequented by Westerners.

"Their script is not much different (from JI and KMM)... Most of the places they were planning to attack were similar to those planned by the two terror groups," one of the sources said.

Sources in the ongoing probe said the new terror group had been planning to carry out a hit similar to a botched JI attack on Dec 31, 1999, in Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, here. The group had targeted the area's entertainment outlets, which were popular with foreign visitors at the time. Six pipe bombs were placed in different parts of the area but failed to detonate after they were soaked by the rain.

Other attacks planned by JI included one against the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as well as Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds outlets in the country.