KUALA LUMPUR: A total of two Malaysians and an Indonesian had plotted to kill former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a few ministers last year, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pic).
He said the three men were among six arrested in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and Penang on Jan 6 and Jan 7 last year for being involved with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
"They were part of an IS cell formed in 2019 aimed at promoting the Salafi Jihadi ideology, recruiting new members and launching attacks in Malaysia," he said.
Abdul Hamid added in a statement on Saturday (March 27) that the investigation revealed that the three men had threatened to kill Dr Mahathir and a few members of his Cabinet as they were seen as a secular government.
"They were also planning to launch attacks at the casino in Genting Highlands and beer factories in the Klang Valley," he said.
Abdul Hamid, however, added that the men were unable to prepare for the attacks, saying that the men had voiced the intentions usually expressed by suspected militants or IS supporters.
"They were not able to actually plan the attack, let alone make preparations for it," he said.
Abdul Hamid also said that the three men have since been prosecuted and convicted under Section 130B(1)(a) of the Penal Code for possessing items related to terrorist groups or terrorist activities.
He added that the other three who were detained were released on the instruction of the Deputy Public Prosecutor.
This comes after Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) assistant director Senior Asst Comm Azman Omar said on Thursday that a man detained by police had been planning to assassinate a host of former leaders.
These leaders included Dr Mahathir and Lim Guan Eng, as well as former Attorney General Tommy Thomas.
The suspect was apprehended by E8 in January, along with five other men who supported the Islamic State (IS).
SAC Azman said the suspect admitted to wanting to launch lone attacks against former premier Dr Mahathir and former finance minister Lim, Thomas, and even former religious affairs minister Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
“During interrogation, the suspect admitted he planned to stab them with a knife or a sharp object, ” he said.
SAC Azman had also said that a total of 558 people had been arrested since 2013 for suspected involvement with the IS
"A total of 256 individuals have been prosecuted, 51 have been placed under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca), 37 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) and the remaining were released," he added.