Malaysia arrests 16 suspected ISIS militants, some planning attacks on politicians, non-Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia has detained 16 people on suspicion of terrorism following swoops in six states, said counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay on Thursday (Sept 26).

Datuk Ayob said the suspects - three Malaysians, 12 Indonesians and an Indian - were detained between July 10 and Sept 25 in Sabah, Selangor, Sarawak, Penang, Pahang and Kuala Lumpur.

One of the Malaysian suspects was planning to stage attacks on politicians and non-Muslim groups in the country, "apparently for making negative comments towards Islam, suppressing the faith, and for insulting the Malays," said Mr Ayob.

Two other Malaysians were arrested in Sabah for spreading Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda and managing the movements of eventual suicide bombers.

"Both of them had helped arrange the path for a couple and their three children who carried out suicide bombing attacks at a church in Jolo, South Philippines, last December," news portal Malay Mail quoted Mr Ayob as saying.

He said the first suspect, an Indonesian man aged 25, was detained in Keningau, Sabah on July 10.

"We believe the suspect was helping Indonesian ISIS militants to smuggle themselves to southern Philippines via Sabah. This a followup to our ops in Sabah in May," he said.

He added that another suspect, a 38-year-old Indian woman, was detained on Aug 2 for collecting funds for a terrorist group.

He said she has since been deported to her home country.

The remaining suspects were detained in the other states.

Mr Ayob said the Indonesian suspects had been in the country for about two to three years and were working as labourers.

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