Malaysia arrests 7 terror suspects, including man who threatened to kill king, PM Mahathir

Malaysia arrests 7 terror suspects, including man who threatened to kill king, PM Mahathir

File photo collage of Mahathir and king
File photos of Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and King Sultan Muhammad V. (Photos: AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have arrested seven terror suspects, including an unemployed man who threatened to kill the king, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and one minister, inspector general of police Mohd Fuzi Harun said on Thursday (Jul 19).

Another suspect, an Indonesian man, had ties with a terrorist who was involved in a three-day siege on a police headquarters in West Java, Indonesia, in May that saw six policemen tortured and killed. A senior intelligence source told Channel NewsAsia the terrorist's name is Tendi Sumarno, a man who killed one of the cops.

The suspects - four Malaysians and three Indonesians - were arrested during an operation between Jul 12 and 17 in Terengganu, Selangor, Perak and Johor.

terror suspect petaling jaya
Seven terror suspects were arrested during an operation between Jul 12 and 17 in Terengganu, Selangor, Perak and Johor. (Photo: Special Branch anti-terror E8 unit)

The 34-year-old unemployed man who threatened the Malaysian king and the country's leaders was arrested in Skudai, Johor on Tuesday.

“The suspect is a supporter of Daesh who posted on his Facebook account the threat to kill his royal highness, the king, Sultan Muhammad V, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and minister in the prime minister's department Mujahid Yusof Rawa,” said Fuzi, referring to Islamic State (IS) by its Arabic acronym.

The Malaysian man made the threat as he regarded the king and the country’s top leadership as "un-Islamic" for not ruling the country based on Syariah laws, according to Fuzi.

Another two Malaysian suspects, a man aged 42 and a woman aged 24, were also arrested in Johor.

The man, a technician, had threatened to launch bomb attacks in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines after the 2018 Hari Raya celebrations.

“Prior to this, the man was often in communication with Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, the Malaysian Daesh member in Syria - to get the latest developments on Syria,” said Fuzi.

Mohammed Wanndy was behind the grenade attack on Movida Club in Puchong, Selangor on Jun 28, 2016. He was killed in air strikes in 2017.

The woman, who is unemployed, is believed to have given RM4,000 (US$986) to a Malaysian IS member in Syria named Muhammad Nasrullah Latif, who was killed in March 2018, added Fuzi.

"The woman was invited by Muhammad Nasrullah to go to Syria to marry him," a senior intelligence source told Channel NewsAsia.

The fourth Malaysian suspect is the youngest, a 21-year-old factory operator who admitted to supporting IS and joining the group in Syria. He was arrested in Masai, Johor, said Fuzi.

male terror suspect on the floor
The suspects were nabbed in an operation conducted between Jul 12 and 17. (Photo: Special Branch anti-terror E8 unit)

terror suspect female
The operation that nabbed the suspects was conducted between Jul 12 and 17. (Photo: Special Branch anti-terror E8 unit)

The three Indonesian suspects were arrested in various states in Malaysia.

One, a factory operator aged 42, was arrested in Ipoh, Perak.

He admitted to having ties with Tendi Sumarno, a man from the Islamic State-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) of Indonesia who was involved in the killing of a police officer at the elite mobile brigade police (Brimob) headquarters on May 10 in West Java. 

Six Indonesian police officers were tortured and killed when terrorists took over a prison at the Brimob police headquarters last May in a siege that lasted three days.

Another suspect, an Indonesian aged 26, was arrested in Terengganu. The man is a member of the Islamic State of Indonesia (NII) who had pledged allegiance to the terror group in Bandung between 2015 and 2017.

“The suspect has also undergone a series of para-military training organised by NII around Bandung between 2015 and 2017,” according to Fuzi. 

“His wife is a Malaysian citizen who has also pledged allegiance to the NII terror group in Bandung, Indonesia."

According to Fuzi, the suspect planned to take his wife and stepchildren to Syria.

The third Indonesian suspect, a contract worker aged 27, was arrested in Petaling Jaya.

“The suspect admitted to being involved with Daesh and keeping around 100 videos and 90 photos of Daesh activities in his mobile phone,” said Fuzi.

“The suspect promoted the Daesh terror group on his Facebook account by uploading videos and photos of the terror group. The suspect also planned to join Daesh in Syria.”

Source: CNA/aa