ISIS-linked militant arrests in KL: Security at govt buildings boosted, more arrests expected

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - More members of the militant cell linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who planned to bomb strategic targets in the Klang Valley, including government buildings, are expected to be arrested, said Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the police had the list of the suspected members of the cell. "We (the police) are hunting them down and I reckon the police are very capable of finding the suspects.

"Wherever they are (hiding), eventually we will get them," he told newsmen after receiving a courtesy call from British High Commissioner to Malaysia Victoria Treadell at his office here yesterday.

Special Branch and Counter-Terrorism Division principal assistant director Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police have boosted security at government buildings and police stations, and were watching them closely, The Malay Mail Online reported on Tuesday.

Datuk Ayub would not reveal the specific targets, but said vice hotspots had also been targeted along with the government buildings, according to The Malay Mail. He also added that no government officials were arrested.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid commended the police for their swift action that had saved the country from major chaos.

The minister's statement was echoed by Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, who said that Bukit Aman would hunt down remnants of the ISIS terror cell that planned to bomb strategic targets in the Klang Valley.

The top cop vowed that the federal police would continue to search for ISIS members or sympathisers in the country to ensure that no attacks occurred.

"If there are remnants to this group (those arrested recently), rest assured that we will hunt them down.

"Militants and terror groups have no place in Malaysia," he said when contacted yesterday.

"Bukit Aman will use all of its resources to round up any terrorist or militant. Our country will not be used as a hideout, launchpad or transit point for any terror group," he said.

It was reported that the police thwarted a planned terror attack with the arrests of 12 suspected militants just as they were mixing chemicals to make the explosives.

The militants were said to have enough material to make a bomb with a 0.5km blast radius.

The members of the terror cell were said to be planning attacks on more than five targets, including government buildings, nightclubs and other entertainment outlets.

It is the first time ISIS-linked militants have been caught red-handed with such instruments of chaos and destruction in what has been described as a new stage for the movement in this country.

Bukit Aman's Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division swooped in and detained 11 of the men at the foothills of Hutan Lipur Gunung Nuang in Hulu Langat on Saturday while they were mixing the chemicals to make the improvised explosive devices (IED).

This was followed by the arrest of the cell's senior leader at a house in Cheras on Sunday.

The latest arrests bring the total militants arrested to 107 since April 2013.

Tan Sri Khalid is urging those with information on militancy to contact the nearest police station or the counter terrorism division at 03-2266 7010 or 011-2104 6850 or e-mail CTD.E8M@gmail.com.