Nine Malaysian men, including a school teacher, a security guard and an owner of a veterinary clinic, have been arrested by the counter terrorism unit of Malaysia, for suspected involvement in activities related to the Islamic State group.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that a 31-year-old restaurant worker was during the operation in Perak for allegedly planning attacks on the Tapah Police Station. The suspect had allegedly contacted IS members in Indonesia seeking materials to make an explosive. Reports said he was actively recruiting Malaysian citizens to join IS. Khalid said the restaurant worker recruited the owner of a veterinary clinic, who was also nabbed in the sting.
Another 27-year-old arrested suspect is an alleged member of the "Black Crow" cell of IS. The cell was responsible for carrying out the attack on Movida Club, Puchong, Selangor last year, which was the first successful IS terror attack in Malaysia. The authorities believe that he has been channelling funds for Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, a notorious Malaysian IS member in Syria.
The police said the 37-year-oldprimary school teacher, who was arrested in Kedah, has admitted to spreading IS ideology through his Facebook account in order to recruit new members.
The police have also arrested a 39-year-old security guard, who reportedly tried to sneak out of the country to join IS in Syria or in southern Philippines. A 46-year-old man from the city of Kota Bahru, Kelantan state was also included in the detainee list. He allegedly tried to recruit members for IS. The other suspects include two other men aged 20 and 24 from Johor.
According to reports, the police carried out operation between Mar 15 and Mar 21 in the Malaysian states of Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Johor. A total number of 234 Malaysians have been detained by the Royal Malaysia Police as of Feb 22. All of them are suspected to have links with IS.
The Malaysian home ministry said the police have also identified 95 Malaysians who joined the terrorist group in Syria. "Of this, 30 have died while another eight were arrested as soon as they returned to Malaysia," the ministry replied in a parliamentary written copy to Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz, a member of parliament on Tuesday.