KUALA LUMPUR: Three militants had threatened to kill former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a few of his then Cabinet members last year.
While it was initially reported that only one militant had issued death threats to the leaders, it turned out that three militants – two Malaysians and an Indonesian – had expressed intention to do so.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the trio were among six men detained 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 the Anshorullah At Tauhid IS cell, which was formed in 2019, to promote the Salafi Jihadi ideology, recruit new members and launch attacks in Malaysia.
“Two IS flags, a machete and a knife were seized during a series of raids, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
The IGP said investigations revealed that the three men had threatened to kill Dr Mahathir and a few Cabinet members as they were seen as a secular government.
“They were also planning to launch attacks on the casino in Genting Highlands and beer factories in the Klang Valley, ” he said.
On the threats against Dr Mahathir and a few of his Cabinet members, the IGP said there were no actual plans or preparations made by the three men.
“It was just intention usually expressed by suspected militants or by those who are pro-IS.
“They were not able to actually plan the attack, let alone make preparations for it, ” he said.
The three men have since been prosecuted under Section 130B(1)(a) of the Penal Code for possessing items related to terrorist groups or terrorist activities and convicted.
“Three other men detained were released on the instruction of the Deputy Public Prosecutor, ” added Abdul Hamid.
It was reported that a man was detained by the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) after he planned to kill several top leaders just prior to the implementation of the movement control order last year.
On his said hit list were Dr Mahathir, former finance minister Lim Guan Eng, former minister Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and former Attorney General Tommy Thomas.
E8 assistant director Senior Asst Comm Azman Omar said the man was arrested in January last year along with five other men who supported the IS.
“Since 2013, a total of 558 people have been arrested for suspected involvement with 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 said.