KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s counter terrorism unit has arrested nine Malaysian men – including a school teacher, a security guard and an owner of a veterinary clinic – for suspected involvement in activities related to the Islamic State group.
During the operation, a 31-year-old restaurant worker was arrested in Perak for allegedly planning attacks on the Tapah Police Station, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said.
He allegedly contacted IS members in Indonesia for materials to make an explosive and was actively recruiting Malaysian citizens to join IS.
According to Khalid, the restaurant worker recruited the owner of a veterinary clinic, who was also nabbed in the sting.
This suspect is believed to have been channelling funds for a notorious Malaysian IS member in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, for the group’s activities there.
A 37-year-old primary school teacher was arrested in Kedah and police say he admitted to spreading IS ideology through his Facebook account in order to recruit new members.
The other suspects include a 39-year-old working in security believed to have been trying to sneak out of the country to join IS in Syria or in southern Philippines, a 46-year-old in the city of Kota Bahru, Kelantan state who allegedly tried to recruit members for IS and two other men aged 20 and 24 from Johor.
The operation between Mar 15 and Mar 21 was held in the Malaysian states of Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Johor.
As of Feb 22, a total of 234 Malaysians suspected to be involved with IS have been detained by the Royal Malaysia Police.
According to the home ministry, 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,” said the ministry in a parliamentary written reply to member of parliament Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz on Tuesday (Mar 21).