KUALA LUMPUR: Police have detained seven men, all locals, in operations involving five states for suspected involvement with the Daesh terrorist group.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said they were believed to be members of a cell which planned to carry out terrorist attacks on several strategic locations throughout the country.
They were arrested in Kedah, Johor, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor by the Federal Police’s (Bukit Aman) Counter-Terrorism Division from Friday till today.
Khalid said the crackdown followed the arrest of an individual at the Setiawangsa LRT station here on Jan 15.
“All the suspects are aged from 26 to 50 years,” he said in a statement today.
Khalid said the crackdown led to the seizure of various items, among others 30 bullets of various calibre, books on jihad, flags and Daesh propaganda videos.
According to him, one of the seven had received instructions from Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed [email protected] Hamzah, a Malaysian who joined Daesh in Syria.
Another, Khalid said, received orders form senior Khatibah Nusantara leader Bahrom Naim, an Indonesian in Syria who ordered a Daesh cell in Indonesia to carry out the terrorist attacks in Jakarta on Jan 14.
In the Johor operation, two individuals were arrested including an assistant manager in the housekeeping division of a hotel in Nusajaya, who hailed from Sabah.
The 31-year-old was also suspected to be the ‘amir’ (chief) of the cell, said Khalid.
The other man held in Johor, aged 33, was the store supervisor of a factory. Two of the arrests were in Kedah, involving a cendol seller aged 50 and his 26-year-old assistant.
The elder is suspected to be responsible for raising funds to be channeled to Malaysians wishing to join Syria.
“The money is also for funding terrorist operations in Malaysia, ” said Khalid.
The assistant, from Terengganu, planned to head to Syria to join Daesh.
Khalid said three were arrested in Selangor (Gombak), Kuala Lumpur and Pahang, aged from 30 to 33 years.
One was a laboratory assistant and the others a GPS installer and a security guard respectively.
“All three were involved in planning to launch terrorist attacks in Malaysia,” added Khalid.
The seven were held under Chaper VIA – Offences Related to Terrorism, Penal Code (Act 574)and are being investigated according to procedures under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Act 747). – BERNAMA