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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Security in KL under control but public must be vigilant, say cops

The security situation in Kuala Lumpur is under control but city police have reminded the public to be extra cautious and to alert police on anything suspicious following to the threat of terrorist attacks in the capital city.

KL police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa, in a response to an advisory from the Australian government on possible terror attacks in Kuala Lumpur, said patrols in the city have been stepped up.

“We have enhanced patrolling in areas frequented by the public with the help of the military under the National Blue Ocean Strategy,” said Tajuddin.

He added that the security teams at hotels, shopping centres and tourist attractions have been briefed on the terror alert.

“Nonetheless, the public are advised to take extra precautions and alert the police of anything suspicious”

The Australian government today issued an advisory urging its citizen to be more vigilant as terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur.

In the advisory posted on the Australian High Commission Malaysia website, it said attacks could be indiscriminate and may target Western interests or locations frequented by Westerners. 

It also advised Australians to reconsider the need to travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah, and to exercise normal security precautions when in Malaysia.

It further said there was an ongoing threat of terrorism in Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur and other major cities. 

Malaysian authorities have made a number of arrests of people allegedly involved in planning attacks, including entertainment spots in Kuala Lumpur. 

The counter-terrorism division has been proactive in nabbing possible terrorists or sympathisers who posed a danger to the country, especially those linked to the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (Isis).

Security has been heightened following the terror attack in Indonesia on January 11 which killed at least 12 people.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar on January 18 said Malaysia would remain on high-security alert as the authorities stepped up measures to ensure the nation’s safety.

Khalid said Malaysia was on “alert to the highest degree” after terrorism analysts said Isis was now spreading its operations beyond the Middle East and Europe to Asia.

He said after the attacks in Jakarta, security measures were increased in public places in Malaysia, such as malls and tourist spots, adding that precautionary measures would be taken at border areas to prevent possible infiltration by terrorists.

Over the weekend, the IGP said a couple from Perak were among four arrested for suspected involvement in Isis activities last month.

Those arrested were aged between 23 and 28 and one was a former insurance agent planning a “lone wolf” attack at an entertainment centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Of the four, three, including a husband and wife, were arrested in Turkey on November 15 by the authorities there.

They were trying to enter Syria from Turkey but were deported and rearrested by the Malaysian counter-terrorism unit upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on January 11.

He said the three who had tried to enter Syria from Turkey were recruited by Malaysian Isis recruiter, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, also known as Abu Hamzah.

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