Two IS suspects held in Malaysia for plotting attacks

Malaysian police have arrested two suspects with links to Islamic State for planning attacks on Buddhist monks, police stations and entertainment centres, local media reports.

The two accused are a 25-year-old Malaysian religious teacher nabbed from Petaling Jaya on December 23 last year and a 23-year-old Indonesian construction worker (pictured; Photo courtesy of police) arrested in Kuala Lumpur last week.

The construction worker was walking around the capital with a knife to kill Buddhist monks to avenge the mass killings of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhists and soldiers in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Police foiled his attempt and seized the knife, said Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, the inspector-general of police.

The worker also planned to attack the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman and the Travers police station.

Fuzi said the suspect contacted an IS leader on WhatsApp seeking his help to recruit locals to carry out the attacks. The worker also had plans to hoist an IS flag at the construction site where he worked.

The Malaysian teacher was arrested in December on suspicion of planning an attack on entertainment centres and to rob, kidnap or kill non-Muslims.

He had previously been arrested in 2015 under the country’s anti-terror law and jailed for 18 months.

After his release, he revived contacts with IS and plotted attacks on entertainment centres in Klang Valley.

Malaysia has been on terror alert since a grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June 2016 that wounded eight people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, the first in the Muslim majority country.

Security is being beefed up for the Hindu festival Thaipuzham which falls on January 31, Fuzi said.