Malaysia arrests 7 'Isis militants' with links to Jakarta plotters

The suspects had received training from Syrian members of the Islamic State say officials.

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Malaysia arrests 7 suspects
A soldier patrols outside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 25, 2016. Reuters

Malaysia has busted a suspected Islamic State cell and arrested seven people in a three-day operation.

Kuala Lumpur had launched the crackdown ahead of the International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism that gets underway on Monday.

According to the police, the suspects had trained their eyes on Malaysian targets and had received training from Syrian members of the Islamic State (Isis). The officials said their handlers included Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant named as the mastermind of January. 14 suicide attacks in Jakarta, Reuters reported.

"All of the suspects are members of the same cell, who are responsible for planning terror attacks in strategic locations throughout Malaysia," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement.

Authorities said one of the suspects was believed to be responsible for collecting and channeling funds to Malaysian citizens looking to join up with IS in Syria, the report said.

The suspects are in the age range of 26-50. Bullets, books on jihad, Islamic State flags and propaganda videos were seized from them.

Neighbouring Indonesia said last week 13 suspects were detained from various provinces following the central Jakarta attacks. Investigators said seven of the detained men were linked to a plot to stage multiple attacks in the country.

This article was first published on January 25, 2016