Malaysian counter-terrorism officers arrested nine suspected Islamic State (IS) supporters in raids in five states earlier this month, including a restaurant worker allegedly involved in a bomb plot against a police station, the nation’s top policeman announced Friday.
Police did not reveal the names of those taken into custody during operations from March 15 to 21, but Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said officers foiled a plot to attack a station house in Perak state when they arrested the restaurant employee.
Bakar said the 31-year-old man who was arrested on March 17 had close ties to an IS cell in Poso, a regency in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province where Indonesian security forces have been hunting down the last few holdouts of IS-linked militant group Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen.
“The suspect who works as a restaurant helper planned an attack on Tapah police station in Perak,” Khalid said in a statement, adding that the suspect had contacted Indonesian IS members to obtain explosives to be used in the foiled attack.
“The suspect also had close ties with IS cell in Poso, Indonesia, and was active in recruiting Malaysians to join IS,” Khalid said.
News of the latest arrests of suspected militants came nearly 10 days after Malaysian authorities said they arrested seven IS supporters. Six of them were caught in the eastern state of Sabah close to the southern Philippines where IS-linked Muslim militant groups operate.
And, earlier this month, Malaysian police announced they had foiled a plot by four Yemeni men – who are in custody – to attack Saudi King Salman Abdul Aziz al-Saud and his entourage during a royal visit to Malaysia.
The four suspects were Houthi rebels, Khalid told BenarNews at the time. Houthis are Iranian-backed insurgents fighting Saudi-aligned forces in Yemen.
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