Second terror sweep in Klang Valley

Royal Malaysian Police Special Task Force personnel take part in a security drill at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on May 25, 2017, ahead of the upcoming 2017 SEA Games.
Royal Malaysian Police Special Task Force personnel take part in a security drill at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on May 25, 2017, ahead of the upcoming 2017 SEA Games.PHOTO: AFP

Malaysian officials made another large-scale sweep last night in the Klang Valley, keeping pressure up on wanted terror suspects ahead of the SEA Games that start on Aug 19.

"We are executing the second phase of our joint operation to- night. Rendezvous is the Sepang district headquarters," said a counter-terror source.

In recent months, dozens of illegal immigrants have been arrested in the district where the Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located.

Police led a raid in Kuala Lumpur's city centre on Sunday, in which 200 personnel nabbed 409 foreigners.

Dubbed "Operation Joker", they targeted terror suspects, including 16 who were deported from Turkey.

The 16 suspects were detained by Turkey allegedly just before they crossed the border to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group. Kuala Lumpur has protested against Turkey's procedure of allowing suspected militants to choose their destination without informing the receiving country.

Out of the 409 initially detained, 134 did not have complete travel or immigration documents. However, aside from a 32-year-old Pakistani suspected of leading a passport forgery syndicate, police did not find anyone with militant links.

This second raid comes as Special Branch chief Mohamed Fuzi Harun said "the threats are imminent. We cannot be complacent, that's why we are taking proactive measures".

He told The Straits Times: "We want these militants to know that we're coming for them and we're coming down hard."

Malaysia has arrested nearly 300 terror suspects since 2013, largely Malaysians. More than 90 have been charged, with at least 48 convicted and jailed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2017, with the headline 'Second terror sweep in Klang Valley'. Print Edition | Subscribe