Police chief says Malaysia on high alert against terror threats after attacks in Indonesia

Malaysian police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said the police would remain vigilant and monitor any development on the terrorism front. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's police will remain vigilant and step up their alert level against possible terrorist threats, said police chief Abdul Hamid Bador, following two recent attacks in Indonesia.

The Inspector-General of Police said the counter-terrorism division has been tasked to collect actionable intelligence on any terrorist groups or terrorist cells in the country.

"The recent attacks in Indonesia was devastating.

"Malaysian police will always remain vigilant and monitor any development on the terrorism front," Tan Sri Hamid said on Thursday (April 1) when contacted by The Star.

He said terrorism threats would never be taken lightly.

"We are also prepared to give assistance to our Indonesian counterparts to curb the threat of terrorism.

"Terrorism threats must be dealt with decisively," the IGP said.

The authorities in Indonesia are on heightened alert for possible attacks against police and places of worship following two recent attacks - a suicide bombing at a Catholic cathedral in Sulawesi and a gun attack by a woman at the Indonesian police headquarters.

In Jakarta on Wednesday, the woman entered the Indonesian National Police HQ after telling guards that she wanted to visit a post office inside the compound.

Police said Zakiah Aini, 25, walked calmly towards the post office before opening fire with a gun. She was shot dead when police officers returned fire.

Local media said the woman, described as a "lone wolf" militant, used a nitrogen piston air gun that fires ball bearings. No one else was injured in the incident.

Zakiah posted an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag on her Instagram account hours before the attack and also sent a farewell message to the family's WhatsApp group.

On Sunday (March 28), a husband-and-wife pair blew themselves up at the gate of a Catholic church in the provincial capital of Makassar.

The couple carried out the attack with a pressure cooker bomb, injuring 20 people, including the church's security officers and churchgoers.

They were believed to have been members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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