Malaysia: Counter-terrorism police in Malaysia has arrested seven terror suspects, including a member of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) involved in three serial kidnappings in the southern Philippines and Sabah, said Inspector-General of Police Fuzi Harun in a statement on Monday (Dec 10), as reported by Amy Chew of Channel NewsAsia.
The sting operation – conducted from Nov 19 to 28 in Kelantan, Selangor, Sabah and Kedah – netted a total of five Malaysians and two Filipinos.
“The suspect is a member of Abu Sayyaf Group who was involved in at least three serial kidnappings in southern Philippines and Sabah,” said Fuzi in a statement.
The arrests also foiled potential terror attacks in Malaysia, as two Malaysian suspects had received orders from the Islamic State (IS) to launch attacks in the country, the Channel NewsAsia report further said.
An intelligence source told Channel NewsAsia that both men belonged to the same IS cell, but did not know each other.
“Both men received orders from a Malaysian Islamic State member in Syria, Akel Zainal, to carry out terror attacks,” the source told Channel NewsAsia.
The first Malaysian, aged 28, worked as a honey seller and was arrested in Kelantan.
The second Malaysian suspect was also arrested in Kelantan. The suspect, aged 35, was a staff member at a driving school.
“The suspect is believed to have received orders from the Malaysian right-hand members of Daesh in Syria to launch attacks on non-Muslims places of worship in Malaysia,” said Fuzi.
Two Malaysians were also arrested for channeling funds to both IS in Syria and Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), its biggest affiliate in Indonesia.