Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia police has arrested 15 suspected extremists militants including a teenager and a housewife accused of plotting separate attacks on places of worship around the capital, Kuala Lumpur, police said on Friday.
Police rounded up the 15, including nine foreigners, in several security operations between March 27 and May 9, Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said.
They included a 17-year-old secondary school student suspected of being a member of ISIS, who had allegedly planned “lone wolf” attacks on churches, entertainment centres and Hindu temples around Kuala Lumpur. The video was uploaded to four ISIS-linked mobile chatrooms shortly before the suspect was arrested.
Among the others detained was a Bangladeshi restaurant owner suspected of smuggling arms to foreign militants, as well as six Philippine nationals planning to join ISIS-linked gunmen who occupied a Philippine town last year. A North African married couple, wanted for being ISIS members in their home country, was detained before being deported on April 14, the police chief said. He did not give their nationality.
Muslim-majority Malaysia is on alert for violence, and authorities have arrested hundreds of people over the past few years for suspected links to militants, but it has never suffered a major militant attack. ISIS took responsibility for a grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in 2016, when eight people were wounded. It was the first such strike in Malaysia.