Police in KL on alert for possible ISIS attack: Report

Pedestrians - some wearing face masks due the seasonal haze - wait to cross a Kuala Lumpur street.
Pedestrians - some wearing face masks due the seasonal haze - wait to cross a Kuala Lumpur street.AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Police have credible information about a potential terrorist attack in Kuala Lumpur and have increased patrols in Jalan Alor and surrounding areas in the capital city, according to a report.

The news follows the arrest of several Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the past month.

"Yes, we are on alert. More policemen have been sent to the ground," a Kuala Lumpur police source told The Malaysian Insider. "It is believed to be retaliation for the crackdown against the militants."

The US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur advised its citizens yesterday to avoid Jalan Alor and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, Australians were urged to avoid the same spots, and also reconsider any need to travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah.

"The coastal areas of eastern Sabah are subject to a continuing high threat of kidnapping by extremists based in the southern Philippines," an advisory warned. 

Malaysian police last month arrested 10 suspected ISIS members in multiple raids across the country.

Those arrested included six security forces personnel, a former interior designer and a kindergarten teacher, it was reported.

The suspects – eight men and two women – were detained by the special counter-terrorism division in six separate areas, including Kuala Lumpur, said the Insider.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said then that the suspected militants were believed to be plotting an attack on Malaysian soil, and were collecting funds to assist Malaysian ISIS members wanting to travel to Syria.

The Diplomat, a current-affairs magazine, recently reported that Indonesia’s counter-terrorism chief has warned that the ISIS is collaborating with smugglers to bring foreign fighters to Indonesia from Malaysia.

Saud Usman Nasution, head of Indonesia’s counter-terrorism agency, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the ISIS fighters arrived in Sumatra from Malaysia, after which they are taken to Poso in central Sulawesi, believed to be a training ground for ISIS fighters.

“We see that some foreign terrorist fighters from overseas come to Indonesia. First, they leave Malaysia and head for Pekanbaru (Sumatra) to Puncak (west Java) — it’s all facilitated by asylum seeker networks, then from Puncak they would leave to Makassar and Poso, with facilitation from the ISIS network,” he said, according to the Insider.

“So we need to stay vigilant; more so because there is information that in Malaysia, there are thousands, a lot of foreign terrorist fighters there who are about to be deployed – we don’t know where to – under the network,” he added.