Malaysia reports 8 terror arrests

Malaysia reports 8 terror arrests

Philippine Marines conduct a clearance operation in Marawi in the southern Philippines, where conflict with fighters linked to Islamic State has left nearly 900 people dead. (EPA Photo)
Philippine Marines conduct a clearance operation in Marawi in the southern Philippines, where conflict with fighters linked to Islamic State has left nearly 900 people dead. (EPA Photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has arrested four foreigners and four Malaysians for suspected involvement in terrorist activities linked to Abu Sayyaf, Islamic State and Jemaah Islamiah, police said on Saturday.

Among the foreigners arrested were three Filipinos, one of whom is a permanent resident in Malaysia, and an Albanian.

The arrests were made in the states of Sabah, Selangor and Perak between Sept 27 and Oct 6.

Five suspects were arrested in Sabah, suspected of assisting the Abu Sayyaf militant group's infiltration into Malaysia.

Police said the arrested Albanian, a law lecturer at a local public university, had contact with Islamic State. Two others were former convicts, previously found guilty in 2016 of participating in terrorist activities.

One was arrested under suspicion of recruiting convicts in prison and planning an attack on Muslim, Christian and Hindu places of worship in Malaysia. The suspect was also said to have information about a member of Tanzim Al-Qaeda Malaysia, a group linked to Jemaah Islamiah, who remains at large.

The other was an accomplice suspected of recruiting two Malaysians.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people over the past few years for suspected links to militant groups. The country has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen linked to Islamic State launched multiple attacks in Jakarta in neighbouring Indonesia in January 2016.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, in June last year wounded eight people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, the first such attacks on Malaysian soil.


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