The members, comprising a local man along with 10 Indonesian men and an Indonesian woman, were arrested by the Counter Terrorism Division in Sarawak, Penang, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor between Sept 14 and Sept 25.
Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said the terror cell had been actively promoting IS ideology and recruiting new members via social media.
“They were enticing new members using ‘salafi jihadi’ extremist teachings.
“We believe they were planning to launch attacks in Malaysia and Indonesia once they have recruited enough members,” he told a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.
The Malaysian member of the terror cell was also planning to attack political leaders and non-Muslims on the pretext that Muslims were oppressed in Malaysia, he added.
DCP Ayob said E8 operatives also detained a 25-year-old Indonesian man in Keningau, Sabah on July 10.
“The suspect has been working in an estate since early last year.”
“We believe he has performed ‘bai’ah’ (oath of allegiance) to Islamic State leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi via the Telegram application,” he said.
The suspect is believed to be responsible for facilitating the travel of an Indonesian married couple and their three children, who later launched a suicide bomb attack on a church in Jolo, southern Philippines, in December last year.
“He had used Sabah as a transit point for Indonesian IS militants to head to southern Philippines.
“He also channelled funds to the Maute terror group in southern Philippines and he planned to eventually head to Syria to join the main IS unit,” DCP Ayob said.
Meanwhile, a 38-year-old female Indian national was arrested in Subang Jaya, Selangor on Aug 2 for being a member of the Sikh for Justice (SFJ) group.
“The suspect, who works as a domestic helper, has been an SFJ member since 2017.
“We believe she is also active in collecting funds for the group, which has been declared illegal in India,” he said, adding that the woman had since been deported.
He also said that two Malaysian men were picked up in Keningau and Tenom, Sabah respectively on Sept 6.
“Similar to the Indonesian suspect detained in Keningau, they are also part of the terror cell which handled the transit for the Indonesian family of five responsible for the church attack in Jolo.
“We believe the duo were also planning a trip to Syria to perform their false jihad for IS,” DCP Ayob said.
The suspects are now being detained under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
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