World

Malaysia nabs four for assassination, terror plots

They planned to assassinate four VIPs, launch attacks on houses of worship

KUALA LUMPUR Four suspected militants have been detained in connection with terror and assassination plots to "avenge" the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in Malaysia.

The four were targeting several VIPs and non-Muslim houses of worship, said Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador, adding that the hunt is on for remaining members of the plot.

He said the male suspects - a Malaysian, two Rohingya and an Indonesian - were detained in an operation by the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) in Terengganu and the Klang Valley between May 5 and May 7.

"Officers from E8 detected this 'wolf pack' Islamic State in Iraq and Syria cell that planned to assassinate four VIPs and launch large-scale attacks on non-Muslims houses of worship, as well as entertainment centres in the Klang Valley.

"They were planning to carry out their plans in the first week of Ramadan to 'avenge' the death of Muhammad Adib," he said yesterday. The fireman was killed in a riot at a temple.

Their reasons given for targeting the VIPs were the supposed failure to "protect the sanctity of Islam".

He said the first to be arrested was a 34-year-old Malaysian in Kuala Berang, Terengganu, on May 5.

"The suspect is the leader of the terror cell and the mastermind behind their plans to assassinate and bomb their targets.

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"We also seized six improvised explosive devices that had been obtained from a neighbouring country, along with a CZ9mm pistol and 15 bullets," Mr Abdul Hamid said.

Then in Kuala Lumpur on May 7 came the arrest of a 20-year-old Rohingya man, who also has a United Nations refugee agency card, he added.

"He admitted to joining the cell and supporting the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) terror group.

"He also planned to attack the Myanmar Embassy in the city and wanted to go to Rakhine to continue his false jihad," he said.

The remaining two suspects were detained in Subang Jaya and Old Klang Road on May 7, Mr Abdul Hamid added.

He said police are tracking down three members of the terror cell who are still at large.

The suspects are Malaysians Syazani Mahzan, 21, and Muhamad Nuurul Amin Azizan, 27, from Bedong, Kedah, as well as Indonesian Fatir Tir, whose last known address was in Banting, Selangor.

Fireman Muhammad Adib was critically injured on Nov 27 last year, after he and his team members from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, where a riot was taking place.

The fireman was taken to Subang Jaya Medical Centre after he was found injured, before being transferred to the National Heart Institute for further treatment, where he died on Dec 17.

There is an ongoing inquest into his death. - THE STAR

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