Sat, Feb 16, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Malaysia arrests six people suspected of planning attacks, links to militants

BAD ACTORS:Among the group were four foreigners, including a 48-year-old Singaporean allegedly plotting to attack a building used by Freemasons in Johor state

Reuters, KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysian authorities yesterday said that they have arrested six people, including four foreigners, suspected of planning attacks or being members of militant groups.

Malaysia has been on high alert since gunmen allied with the Islamic State group carried out a series of attacks in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia, in January 2016.

Police said that the six were arrested in five separate raids between December and last month on suspicion of planning attacks or having links to militant groups.

“They include two Malaysians and four foreigners from Singapore, Bangladesh, the Philippines and a South Asian country,” Royal Malaysia Police Inspector General Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement posted on social media.

The group included a 48-year-old Singaporean accused of planning to attack a building used by Freemasons in Johor state.

He is believed to have links with Akel Zainal, a Malaysian identified as an Islamic State fighter in Syria, police said.

Police also detained a suspected member of Abu Sayyaf in a separate raid in eastern Sabah state.

The 21-year-old suspect is believed to have ties with Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, Fuzi said.

A 28-year-old man from an unidentified South Asian country was arrested during a raid in Selangor state.

The International Criminal Police Organization had issued a red notice for his suspected involvement in criminal and militant activities, Fuzi said.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people over the past few years for suspected links to militant groups.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, in June 2016 wounded eight people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the first such strike on Malaysian soil.

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