KOTA BARU • Malaysian police have detained six men suspected of making bombs in Pasir Mas, Kelantan. The suspects were picked up at their homes in a series of raids early on Sunday morning.
Kelantan police chief Ab Rahman Ismail said the raids unearthed several items, including wires and batteries believed to be components for making bombs.
"We do not rule out the possibility that the suspects are linked to the Daesh militant group," he told reporters, using an alternative name for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Separately, three Malaysian militants fighting for ISIS have been killed in clashes with Syrian forces in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
Malaysian anti-terrorism police said yesterday they received an intelligence report that the three - Zainuri Kamaruddin, Ahmad Asyraf Arbee Ahmad Jamal Arbee and Sazrizal Mohd Sofian Tahyalan - were killed in air strikes last Friday.
This brings the total number of Malaysian militants killed in Iraq and Syria to 30.
Zainuri, 50, also known as Abu Talhah, had appeared in an ISIS video threatening attacks on places in Malaysia, just weeks before the July 2016 grenade attack on the Movida nightclub in the Klang Valley suburb of Puchong.
In the video, which was circulated in May last year, Zainuri was seen holding a red passport - presumed to be a Malaysian one - while other militants held green passports, believed to be Indonesian passports.
Counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan said that after the threats were made, the militants, believed to be members of the Malay- speaking wing of ISIS - Katibah Nusantara - were seen burning their passports.
Mr Ayob said that in the video, Zainuri, from Bota in Perak, had asked Malaysians to join the fight in Syria.
Zainuri was a former Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia member and was detained in 2001 under the Internal Security Act. He was also involved in the armed robbery of Southern Bank Berhad in 2001.
According to Mr Ayob, he used social media to recruit Malaysians for ISIS and arranged for their travel and safe passage to Syria.
Ahmad Asyraf Arbee, 31, also known as Abu Luqman Al Malizi, from Shah Alam, was believed to have left for Syria in 2014.
The third militant killed - 27-year-old Sazrizal - also known as Abu Badar Al Malizi, left for Syria in 2014 with his wife.
Mr Ayob said Sazrizal and his wife had worked as fruit pickers in Australia to fund their trip to Syria.
"Among those with him in Australia was militant Mohamad Amirul Ahmad Rahim, who died in a suicide bomb attack by driving a truck full of explosives in Raqqa, Syria," he said.
BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK