Malaysian police arrest suspect before planned terror attack

Malaysian police arrest four suspected militants linked to DAESH, one of whom has confessed to planning suicide bomb attack

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Malaysian police say they have nabbed a suspected DAESH-linked militant in the country's capital Kuala Lumpur, just hours before a planned suicide attack.

Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement on Saturday that the 28-year old was arrested at a rail station before a planned Friday night suicide bombing.

"The man confessed to the police of a suicide attack plan, which he said he was told to carry out by comrades in Syria. The attack was suppose to be last night at a karaoke or a pub," Bakar said in the statement .

"The suspect is also responsible for hanging IS [DAESH] flags at several locations in Terengganu, Perak, Selangor and Johor, in an effort to warn the government to stop arresting IS members in Malaysia."

Bakar said that the man was one of four individuals with suspected links to DAESH detained in an anti-terror operation launched this week.

The other three were Malaysians captured with the help of the Turkish government, the statement added.

He said that the trio were arrested at Kuala Lumpur international airport after trying to make their way into Syria to join Daesh.

The statement added that they were detained on suspicion of committing offences under Chapter VIA of the Penal Code on offences related to terrorism.

On Thursday, Malaysia's police raised the country's terror alert level to its highest level after multiple explosions and an ensuing shootout with the police left seven people dead in neighbouring Indonesia.

It said that additional police officers would be deployed to public areas such as shopping malls and tourist attractions throughout the country to pre-empt any similar outbreaks of violence.

Later Saturday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said the country would battle any form of terrorism or extremism.

"As prime minister of Malaysia, I give our assurance that we will fight tooth and nail against any form of terror," ​Razak said in a statement.

"We are shocked by the news of [recent DAESH] attacks in Jakarta, Istanbul and Paris, as well as in other nations."

He said that while the government forges ahead in fighting terrorism, Malaysians must preserve the peace and stability the country has enjoyed, to buffer against external disruptions.

Malaysia's police force said last week that it had arrested 82 people with links to DAESH - 73 of them Malaysians - in the last year alone.

Some 72 Malaysians, including 14 women, have been identified as fleeing Malaysia to join DAESH movements in Iraq and Syria using neighbouring countries as transit points.

As of December last year, seven had returned home.

The latest arrests bring that number to 10.

TRTWorld, AA