Malaysian police arrest 3 who planned terror attacks in KL
Malaysian police have arrested three suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants who were planning several attacks in Kuala Lumpur.
The trio were planning to attack entertainment outlets and police stations using grenades and firearms on the eve of Malaysia's National Day.
The men were also planning to attack a Hindu temple in Batu Caves, a popular tourist spot just north of the capital.
They were detained by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division during a three-day operation in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang from Aug 27 to Aug 29.
Malaysia's National Day, also known as Merdeka Day, falls on Aug 31.
Planning to leave for Syria
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the three suspects had received orders from ISIS militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi to attack those locations.
One suspect, a 20-year-old lorry driver, was detained in Selangor on Aug 27 with a K75 grenade, a pistol and 24 bullets.
"We believe he obtained the weapons from a middleman," Mr Khalid said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 31).
The two other suspects, aged 20 and 27, were detained on Monday (Aug 29).
"All three suspects were planning to leave for Syria to join the Islamic State terrorist group... after successfully carrying out the attacks," he said.
Mohamad Wanndy, a Malaysian ISIS member based in Syria, is believed to be behind a grenade blast in June at the Movida nightclub in Puchong, a town outside Kuala Lumpur.
Eight people were wounded in the attack, which was the first successful ISIS attack on Malaysian soil.
Earlier this month, Malaysia revoked the passports of 68 citizens involved in ISIS activities abroad.
Bukit Aman Police Special Branch director Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in March that 18 Malaysians had been killed while with ISIS in Syria, while seven others had died while carrying out suicide attacks.
The authorities in Malaysia have been on high alert since ISIS-linked militants carried out an armed attack in the capital of Indonesia in January.
In June, ISIS released a video of its fighters from South-east Asia calling on its supporters to unify under one umbrella group and launch attacks in the region.
Police said earlier this month that 230 people, including 200 Malaysians, have been arrested since 2013 for involvement in militant activities.
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Terror threats close to home
Earlier this month, two men were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for two years. The men had planned to travel with their family to Syria and die as a martyr.
Two others were also issued Restriction Orders, limiting their activities, for their involvement in terrorism-related activities.
In the same month, Indonesian authorities arrested six militants who had been planning a rocket attack on Marina Bay from Batam. The six men were members of a little-known terror cell called Katibah GR, or Cell GR.
In April, eight Bangladeshi men working in Singapore were detained under the ISA for forming and financing a pro-ISIS group.
The group had a list of targets and bomb-making manuals, and was raising funds in Singapore to fund acts of terror in Bangladesh.
Of the eight men, four of the men were jailed between two and five years last month.
On Tuesday (Aug 30), one man was sentenced to two years' jail for financing terrorism, and another was jailed for 2½ years.
The remaining two were given two-year detention orders under the ISA and have not faced formal charges in court.
Last year, 27 Bangladeshi workers who were planning terror attacks back home were arrested. All of them were deported.
The men were part of a closed religious study group that had met discreetly every week since 2013, and used the premises of a few local mosques near where some of them stayed. Most worked here for between two and seven years.