Two civil servants among eight suspected militants detained in Malaysia

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were detained in simultaneous swoops in the three states by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were detained in simultaneous swoops in the three states by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWOR) - Eight suspected Malaysian militants, including two civil servants, have been detained in separate operations in Selangor, Perak and Johor.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects, aged between 22 and 36, were detained in simultaneous swoops in the three states by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division on Oct 30.

"Six of the suspects are believed to be members of Tandzim Al-Qaeda while the other two have links to the Islamic State," he said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He said two of the suspects, both aged 28, were civil servants.

"We believe these two are members of IS, belonging to the same cell as the two civil servants detained in August.

"This particular cell is responsible for spreading IS ideology among their colleagues at this government department," he said.

The other six men were suspected members of Tandzim Al-Qaeda.

Tan Sri Khalid said two of the suspects, aged 24 and 33, were previously detained in Lebanon on Oct 18, 2012, for trying to smuggle themselves into Syria to join the terror group.

"They were escorted back to Malaysia by a special squad from the Counter Terrorism division on Oct 30 and were arrested once they reached KL International Airport.

"The 24-year-old suspect was a former civil servant from Selangor, while the 33-year-old suspect was an electrician from Kuala Lumpur," he said.

He added that the four other suspects were members of the Malaysian cell of Tandzim Al-Qaeda.

The suspects have been detained under the Security Measures Act (Special Measures) (Sosma) 2012.