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Sunday, January 24, 2016

7 arrested during police's 3-day anti-terrorism operations

Seven people suspected of links with the Islamic State (Isis) militant group were detained over the last three days in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Kedah.

No weapons were seized but police seized a cache of bullets for various types of firearms, including those for the M16 assault rifle.

The arrests were made by the police's counter-terrorism unit in the three-day operation as a follow-up to the earlier arrest of a man at a LRT station in Kuala Lumpur on January 15.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar announced the seven arrests and congratulated the counter-terrorism team via his Twitter account a few hours ago.

In a statement later, Khalid said the seven had planned attacks at several popular spots in the Klang Valley as well as in other states.

Among those detained was a cell leader, a 'Sabahan' who works as an assistant manager of a hotel in Johor.

Another suspect arrested in Johor was a 33-year old working as a factory store supervisor.

One of the seven was also identified as a cell “fund manager” whose task was to collect and channel funds to people wanting to go to Syria and for carrying out attacks.

This man, aged 50, was arrested in Kedah and had worked as a cendol seller. He was assisted by another detainee, aged 26 from Terengganu, who also had plans to join the militant group in Syria.

The counter-terrorism unit also found out that one of those arrested had been in communication with Bahrun Naim, the Indonesian founding member of Khatibah Nusantara Muhammad, and whom Indonesian police have said orchestrated the Jakarta attacks on January 14 which killed 12 people.

Another of those arrested had been in contact with Malaysian Isis recruiter, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, also known as Abu Hamzah.

Besides the two arrested in Johor and two in Kedah, the three others detained are men between the ages of 30 and 33. They were arrested in Gombak (Selangor), Kuala Lumpur and Pahang, and had plans to launch attacks in the country, Khalid said.

The seven were arrested for terrorism activities under the Penal Code (Act 574) and are being investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).

Earlier this month, police arrested four people between the ages of 23 and 28 for suspected involvement in Isis activities. Two of them were a husband and wife who were arrested in Turkey in November last year and deported to Malaysia.

On January 11, a 16-year-old boy wearing clothing of Isis militants held a woman at knife-point in a supermarket in Sungai Petani, Kedah, purportedly to "prove" his membership of the group.

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