Malaysian police capture 10 IS suspects

  • 21/08/2015
Khalid Abu Bakar (Photo: Reuters)
Khalid Abu Bakar (Photo: Reuters)

Ten Malaysians have been arrested for fostering suspected links with Islamic State and planning attacks in the country.

Malaysia's national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar on Thursday said the 10 individuals were allegedly "planning to obtain weapons to launch attacks in the country and arrange logistics for Malaysians to join the IS in Syria".

He did not elaborate on details of the alleged attack plots.

The eight men and two women, aged between 24 and 42, were arrested on Wednesday in various parts of the Muslim-majority country.

Among the 10 were a kindergarten teacher, a former interior designer and two civil servants. The remaining six suspects were members of state security forces.

Authorities say dozens of Malaysians have travelled to Syria to fight in the civil war there, and have warned of radicals returning home to stage attacks.

Over the past year, police have arrested numerous suspects whom they say were IS sympathisers plotting such attacks.

However, opposition MPs say authorities have been reluctant to share information regarding the arrests, or provide details about potential terror threats.

Speaking in June, authorities said they had arrested 108 people who had suspected links to IS or who were trying to travel to Syria or Iraq.

Muslim-majority Malaysia practises a moderate brand of Islam and has not seen any notable terror attacks in recent years.

But concern has risen in the multi-faith nation over growing hard-line Islamic views and the country's potential as a militant breeding ground.