KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police have arrested seven suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants including a man who threatened to assassinate the Malaysian King and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed.
The arrests took place during a special operation in the four states of Johor, Terengganu, Selangor, and Perak between July 12 and 17 this year, police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement on Thursday (July 19).
Four of the suspects are Malaysian, while the remaining three are Indonesian citizens.
Police arrested two Malaysians on July 16 in Johor - a 42-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman.
The woman had transferred RM4,000 (S$1,346) to Muhammad Nasrullah Latif, also known as Abu Gomez, a Malaysian who joined the ISIS group in Syria and has since died in March this year.
The male suspect had made threats on Facebook, saying he will launch bomb attacks in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after Hari Raya in June.
Prior to this, he had been in contact with Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, a Malaysian who was an ISIS member in Syria and the ringleader behind a bomb attack at a club in the KL suburb of Puchong on June 28, 2016.
Police in Skudai, Johor, on July 17 arrested a 34-year-old unemployed Malaysian man, who is an ISIS supporter and threatened on his Facebook account to assassinate the King, Sultan Muhammad V, Tun Dr Mahathir and Religious Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa because he felt they were not running the country according to Islamic syariah laws.
A 21-year-old Malaysian factory worker was also arrested on July 17 in Masai, Johor. He confessed to being an ISIS supporter and had planned to join the group in Syria.
On July 12 in Terengganu, police arrested a 26-year-old Indonesian.
He is a member of Negara Islam Indonesia, or Islamic State of Indonesia, an offshoot of the Darul Islam movement whose members took up arms against the government with a goal of creating an Islamic state.
He is said to have pledged allegiance to the group’s leaders in Bandung, Indonesia, between 2015 and 2017 and received weapons training in Bandung between 2015 and 2018.
His wife, who is a Malaysian, has also pledged allegiance to the group. The suspect had planned to take his wife and stepchildren to Syria to join the Daesh (another name for ISIS) militant group.
A 27-year-old Indonesian contract worker was arrested on July 12 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
He confessed to being involved with Daesh and possessed in his mobile phone some 100 videos and 90 photos depicting Daesh activities. He also promoted the group on his Facebook account by uploading videos and photos of it. He had been planning to go to Syria to join the militant group.
In Ipoh, Perak, a 42-year-old Indonesian factory worker was arrested on July 14. He admitted to having ties with a member of Indonesian extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah who was involved in the murder of an Indonesian policeman on May 10 in Kelapa Dua, West Java, Indonesia.