Police avert Ramadan mayhem with arrest of four terror suspects.
Four suspected militants have been detained in connection with terror and assassination plots to “avenge” the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
The four were plotting to assassinate several “high-profile” individuals accused of failing to uphold Islam and insulting the religion, said Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador.
When quizzed about the identities of the VIPs targeted by the group, Hamid replied that the information was “too sensitive for me to reveal”.
“One of the group’s main objectives was to avenge the death of fireman Adib.
“All four have pledged their allegiance to the now-defunct IS terror group,” Hamid said.
He added that that the cell had been in operation in January and largely communicated via WhatsApp.
The suspects were also targeting non-Muslim houses of worship, said the newly-minted IGP, adding that the hunt is on for remaining members of the plot.
Hamid said the male suspects – a Malaysian, two Rohingya and an Indonesian – were detained in a special operation by the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) in Terengganu and Klang Valley between May 5 and May 7.
“Officers from E8 detected this ‘wolf pack’ Islamic State (IS) state cell who planned to assassinate four VIPs and launch large-scale attacks on non-Muslims houses of worship, as well as entertainment centres in the Klang Valley.”
Hamid said the first arrest was made on a 34-year-old Malaysian man in Kuala Berang, Terengganu, on May 5.
“The suspect is the leader of the terror cell and the mastermind behind their plans to assassinate and bomb their targets.
“We also seized six Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that had been obtained from a neighbouring country, along with a CZ9mm pistol and 15 bullets,” Hamid said.
He said the pistol and bullets were meant to shoot and kill the personalities while the bombs were meant for churches and temples.
“You can just take the weapons to wherever you need to go and use them. To make a bomb go off, you don’t need any fancy or high tech devices.
“These IEDs are high powered, designed to kill and to cause severe injuries. Similarly, with the Czech-made pistol and the 15 bullets. The aim is to kill,” he said.
On how the weapons had been brought into the country, Hamid said this could have been either by sea or by land. He cited Malaysia’s geographical location of having long and wide borders, which are porous.
“You see how easy it is for illegal immigrants to come in, smuggling in weapons is just as easy. The weapons can be hidden in cars, lorries, trucks or boats. You name it. It is that easy,” he said.
The second arrest was conducted in Kuala Lumpur on May 7 on a 20-year-old Rohingya man, who also has a UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency) card, he added.
“He admitted to joining the cell and supporting the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) terror group.
“He also planned to attack the Myanmar Embassy in the city and wanted to go to Rakhine to continue his false jihad,” he said.
The remaining two suspects were detained in Subang Jaya and Old Klang Road on May 7, Hamid added.
The suspects are said to have breached Chapter VIA of the Penal Code on offences related to terrorism and will be investigated according to procedures under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
Hamid also said police are still tracking down three other members of the terror cell who are still at large.
The suspects are Malaysians Syazani Mahzan, 21, and Muhamad Nuurul Amin Azizan, 27, from Bedong, Kedah, as well as Indonesian Fatir Tir, whose last known address was in Banting, Selangor.