Nabbed: Police detaining the Rela member in Kuala Kangsar.
KUALA LUMPUR: A Rela member and a Royal Malaysian Navy personnel have been arrested for suspected involvement in a home-grown militant group connected to a foreign terrorist network.
This brings to 19 the members of the group arrested by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in various states in the country since April 28. They are linked to the terrorist network of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Isil.
The 46-year-old Rela member, who was picked up at his house in Kuala Kangsar on June 25, is believed to be the maker of rifles to be used by the militants for training before they head to Iraq and Syria to join Isil fighters.
The 29-year-old RMN man arrested in Sandakan on June 27 is the second Navy personnel to be detained and is believed to have helped smuggle militants back into Malaysia after their weapons training in the southern Philippines.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police seized a home-made rifle and 433 bullets from the Rela member’s house.
“Inital investigations revealed that the man had been supplying ammunition for use in training the militants in Kampung Nyior Ketior, Gunung Arang Para, in Kuala Kangsar.
“Both suspects are being detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act,” he added in a statement yesterday.
Police have also identified other training sites, including one in Port Dickson.
The militants are also known to have trained at Abu Sayyaf-controlled sites in the southern Philippines.
According to sources, the two latest suspects have been deeply involved with the militant group for quite a long time.
“The authorities are investigating further the extent of their involvement.
“Efforts are being made to track down the weapons cache of the militants,” a source said.
According to sources, the Counter Terrorism Division stormed what is believed to be a safe house of the militants in Shah Alam on June 28.
They said that no one was at the house but the authorities believe it had been used since last year as a meeting place for foreign and domestic militants and a transit point.
“While the house contained no material on militant jihad or terrorism, the police are studying CCTV footages to uncover more of the militants’ activities,” a source said.
The sources said that the group’s plan was to go to Syria and launch attacks before heading to Iraq for “their end game”.
The Counter Terrorism Division started its special operation with the arrest of nine militants in separate raids in Kedah and Selangor.
Several books connected to Jemaah Islamiyah were seized in the first series of raids.
Other arrests followed in other parts of the country, including in Perak and Sabah.
Those detained include a 25-year-old man, believed to be the group’s weapons handler (arrested on June 18), a high ranking militant leader and a RMN personnel (arrested on June 13).
Terror link forged by armed jihadists