Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Malaysia holds foreigners, others on terror charges

MOTLEY GROUP:The suspects, who included a student, housewife and entrepreneur, were detained for planning various attacks on non-Muslims and police, authorities said

AP, KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysian police yesterday said that they have detained 15 suspected militants, including several foreigners, for allegedly smuggling firearms and plotting attacks on places of worship.

Six Malaysians, six Filipinos, a Bangladeshi restaurant owner and a couple from a north African country were detained from March to May, Malaysian National Police Chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said.

Among the Malaysians was a 17-year-old student who made six Molotov cocktails that he planned to use against entertainment outlets, churches and Hindu temples in Kuala Lumpur, Fuzi said in a statement.

The student, a suspected Islamic State (IS) group member, tested one of his devices in an open area and was detained in April, an hour after he produced a video on social media warning of the attacks, he said.

A 51-year-old Malaysian woman was held on May 9 during the general elections for planning to ram a car into non-Muslims at a voting center, Fuzi said.

“In addition, the suspect also planned to drive into non-Muslim worship places using a car filled with gas cylinders as explosives,” he added.

He said that a 33-year-old Malaysian was detained after he was deported by Turkey for trying to slip into Syria to join the IS.

Two other Malaysians had planned to kidnap and kill police officers and also attack places of worship, the statement said.

The African couple, both in their early 20s and suspected of having IS ties, were detained in April and have since been deported, Fuzi said, without disclosing their home country.

The 41-year-old Bangladeshi was believed to be involved in smuggling weapons for terrorists, the statement said, adding that another Malaysian and six Filipinos, aged between 22 and 49, were held in April in Sabah state on Borneo Island for being part of a militant cell collecting firearms to wage “jihad” in Marawi City in the Philippines.

Marawi was the scene of a six-month siege after it was taken by Muslim militants last year.

Hundreds of people suspected of having ties to the IS have been detained in Malaysia over the past few years.

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