KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic State (IS) militants had planned large-scale car bomb attacks on targets in the Klang Valley but Bukit Aman managed to thwart these with the arrest of two extremists.
The two – a 41-year-old Malaysian factory technician and a 28-year-old Indonesian farmer – were among seven people detained by the Counter Terrorism Division in the city and Selangor in multiple raids from Feb 21 to Feb 26.
Sources said the Indonesian militant, who has expertise in assembling bombs, was receiving orders from notorious militant Mohammad Wanndy Mohammad Jedi in Syria to assemble the Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED).
“The police have been monitoring the militant since he entered Malaysia on Feb 18. He was arrested even before he managed to gather the materials needed to assemble the VBIED,” a source said.
It is learnt that the militants’ plan failed because of a breakdown in communication with Mohammad Wanndy and the quick action by the police.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the Malaysian and Indonesian suspects were detained in Kepong on Feb 21.
“They had been ordered to prepare a large-scale VBIED for attacks in Malaysia before making their way to Syria to join the IS there.
“The Indonesian man was deported from Turkey last June after attempting to illegally enter Syria,” he said.
The IGP said five others arrested in the multiple swoops were a 37-year-old east Asian man and four Yemenis.
“The east Asian militant entered Malaysia in 2011 using a student visa – believed to be fake – and enrolled in an institution of higher learning in the Klang Valley.
“He has ties with an east Asian terror group, which used Malaysia as a transit point and a hideout,” he said.
Khalid added that the suspect has ties with another east Asian terrorist, who is responsible for arranging safe passage for its members to join IS in Syria.
A source said the east Asian militant was a Uighur militant from Urumqi, China. “He entered Malaysia with a student visa to do his Masters in International Business at the International Islamic University Malaysia in Gombak.”
The Yemeni militants were detained in Cyberjaya on Feb 26.
“They are suspected of being part of a rebel faction in Yemen. They were also involved in a syndicate specialising in falsifying travel documents,” he said.
Multiple international passports and RM270,000 in foreign currencies were also seized in the raid.
Sources also said the Yemeni militants, aged between 26 and 33, were arrested during Saudi Arabia Ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud’s visit to Malaysia.
“The authorities received intelligence on the Yemenis barely days before the royal visit and managed to arrest the suspects in time.
“One of the militants worked as a cook at a restaurant specialising in Yemeni dishes, another a student at a private university while two others were jobless.
“Their work and university background were just a ruse to conceal the syndicate forging travel documents,” a source said, adding that the Yemenis have been in Malaysia for about five years.
It is learnt that the forgery syndicate had been in operation for more than a year. The latest arrests bring the number of militants detained since February 2013 to 278.