Malaysian police detain three remaining suspects of IS-linked 'wolf pack'

Malaysian police detain three remaining suspects of IS-linked 'wolf pack'

IGP Abdul Hamid Bador
Malaysian Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador. (File photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police said on Thursday (May 16) that they have detained the three remaining suspects of an Islamic State (IS) “wolf pack” believed to be planning big-scale attacks and assassinations in the Klang Valley.

In a statement, Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the suspects were taken into custody in Kedah and Selangor separately on Tuesday.

Two local men – identified as Muhammad Syazani Mahzan and Muhamad Nuurul Amin Azizan, both 27 – turned themselves in at Kuala Muda, Kedah, with the cooperation of their family members.

An Indonesian, Nuruddin Alele @ Fatir Tir, 34, was arrested in Banting, Selangor, based on public tip-off.

This came a day after the top cop announced that police have captured four suspects over the said attacks planned in the first week of Ramadan to avenge the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Muhammad Adib died on Dec 17 last year after he was severely injured amid the chaos at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Selangor, where a riot had erupted over the Hindu temple’s relocation.

Earlier, Mr Abdul Hamid said that police were hunting for three more suspects in connection with the planned attacks.

The “wolf pack” was said to be planning to murder high-profile personalities whom they accused of not championing Islam.

police arresting suspected militants
Malaysian police arrested four men who were planning large-scale attacks on non-Muslim places of worship and the assassination of high-profile individuals. (Photo: Royal Malaysia Police) 

The group also wanted to attack Christian, Hindu and Buddhist places of worship as well as entertainment centres in the Klang Valley.

In his statement, the police chief said the two Malaysians in these latest arrests had previously undergone training in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2018, where they learned how to make bombs with triacetone triperoxide.

“Both suspects were found to have surveyed several churches in Yogyakarta with the intention of launching attacks,” he said.

Muhammad Syazani, a burger seller, was also suspected to be plotting suicide bomb attacks on non-Muslim houses of worship in Malaysia, Mr Abdul Hamid said.

The Indonesian suspect, on the other said, was said to be exposed to IS ideologies while spending five years in a jail in Surabaya, he added.

READ: Malaysia on alert after arrests of 9 terror suspects, including foreigners

Separately, police have squashed a viral message claiming that IS members were planning to bomb a church in Bintulu, Sarawak.

Bintulu District Police Chief Supt Zulkipli Suhaili said the message, which showed photographs of three supposed IS members being hunted by police, was fake news.

“The security situation as a whole is under control,” he said on Wednesday.

TEMPLES ON HIGH ALERT

Meanwhile, news of the planned attacks have prompted the famous Batu Caves temple and two other historic Hindu temples in Kuala Lumpur to tighten their security measures.

Batu Caves
A giant statue of Lord Muruga stands next to the 272 steps leading up to the Batu Caves temple at dawn during the Thaipusam festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The management of the three temples, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam KL, said it viewed the arrests seriously as the suspects were said to be planning revenge for Muhammad Adib.

According to the Star, the management said in a statement on Thursday that three security guards would be stationed at each of the temple, while random checks on bags and monitoring of visitors were being carried out.

It urged devotees to keep a watchful eye for suspicious characters.

The Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam Temple, which worships Lord Murugan, receives an average of 3,000 tourists a day.

The other two temples are Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple on Jalan Tun HS Lee in the Petaling Street area and Sri Ganesha Temple on Jalan Pudu Ulu.

Source: CNA/Bernama/tx(aw)

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