‘Nothing to support reports of an Abu Sayyaf sleeper cell in Sabah’

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police are not giving much weight to intelligence reports of Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers in the state even as the top cop seeks to ease fears stemming from viral social media messages.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman (pic) said he did not think that there was any sleeper bomber in the state.

“It is information that we have received. I am not saying it is real or not real. Like all information, we investigate and verify. Not all information we receive is real.

“I personally do not think they (sleeper bombers) are here (Sabah).

“The public should not panic and stop adding to such messages,” he told reporters after attending a police Deepavali open house with Kota Kinabalu City OCPD Asst Comm M. Chandra.

Some criminal elements, he said, could also have passed on the information as part of a propaganda to sow panic among the public.

Regretting that internal police information had been leaked to social media, Comm Jalaluddin said they had identified the policeman involved and necessary action would be taken against him.

“The threat is not as big as how social media made it out to be,” he said, referring to numerous viral messages of suicide bombers in shopping malls in the city and Penampang.

Abu Sayyaf is not known for suicide bombings but more for its kidnap for ransom activities by cross border criminal gangs in Sabah’s east coast.

ACP Chandra warned that firm action would be taken against those spreading such rumours via social media under, among others, the Communication and Multimedia Act and Section 505(e) of the Penal Code.

Both Comm Jalaluddin and ACP Chandra also assured the public that the state’s security was under control and that the police were ready to face any problem.

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