KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Nine men suspected of being ISIS militants were arrested during a major raid in five states, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said on Friday (March 24).
Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement that the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division had also foiled a planned bomb attack on the Tapah police station in Perak.
Among those arrested were a primary school teacher, Puspakom technician, a veterinary shop owner and two security guards.
Khalid said the suspects were detained in multiple operations in Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Johor between March 15 and March 21.
"The first arrest on March 15 was on a 27-year-old Puspakom technician in Klang. We believe he was part of the 'Gagak Hitam' (Black Crow) terror cell, which attacked the Movida nightclub last year.
"We also believe he was channelling funds to known militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, who is in Syria," he said.
The second string of arrests involved a 37-year-old primary school teacher in Ipoh, Perak and a 39-year-old security guard in Kulim, Kedah on March 16.
"The teacher admitted to spreading the Salafi Jihadi extremist teachings via Facebook in order to recruit more militants for IS.
"The security guard intended to join the IS struggle in Syria. Failing that, he planned to join an IS cell in southern Philippines," the IGP said.
Two other suspects - a 31 year-old restaurant staff and a 28-year-old veterinary shop owner - were also arrested in Perak on March 17.
"The restaurant helper was planning an attack on Tapah police station by getting explosives from an IS group Indonesia.
"He also has close ties with another IS cell in Poso, Indonesia and is active in recruiting new militants, including the shop owner," said Khalid.
The sixth arrest was that of a mechanic in Kuala Krai, Kelantan on March 20. "We believe he was channeling funds to Malaysian IS militants in Syria," he said.
The remaining three suspects - a 46-year-old security guard, a 20-year-old cybercafe worker and a 24-year-old resort worker - were arrested in Kota Baru, Kelantan and Segamat and Kota Tinggi in Johor respectively.
"They were deeply embedded in an IS cell in Malaysia," said the police chief. "The security guard is believed to be a recruiter."