KL Parliament House target of attack

KL Parliament House target of attack

KUALA LUMPUR - Parliament House was among the targets of the 12 Islamic State-linked suspects whose planned bomb attacks were foiled by police recently.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the suspects targeted several areas, including places that they deemed were "kawasan maksiat (centres for vice)".

They also targeted Putrajaya, the Dewan Rakyat and the Senate because they did not believe in the democratic system, he told the Dewan Negara at question time.

The suspects instead believed in the Islamic caliphate system, he said.

Police thwarted the terror attacks with the arrest of the suspected militants just as they were mixing chemicals to make explosives.

The explosives would have been enough for a bomb capable of a 500m blast radius, police said.

The suspects were allegedly planning attacks on more than five targets, including nightclubs and other entertainment outlets.

Dr Ahmad Zahid denied claims that most of those involved in militant activities were educated in religious schools, madrasah or sekolah pondok.

Those involved were from a cross-section of the public, including lecturers and students from private institutions of higher learning, he said.

He said that according to research, more than 50 per cent of IS followers were aged 40 and below, which was the target recruitment age group for members of the terror cell.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said there were three main factors that attracted certain people to join IS - family issues, financial problems and peer pressure.

Most of the 107 suspects arrested in the country so far for suspected militancy came from broken families, he said.

Some were drawn to IS because they saw quick money from robbery and other criminal activities that the terrorist group engaged in to fund itself.

He said others believed that they could go to heaven by fighting for IS.

At a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that aside from the 12 suspects, there were others still at large but declined to say how many.

"We are making serious efforts to take them down," he said.

He said those arrested for militancy would have to wear an electronic monitoring device (EMD) if they were released by the authorities but still needed to be under surveillance.

The ministry and police had already bought the devices, which will be in use from July, he said.

The EMD would also be used on those who needed to be monitored under the Prevention of Crime Act, according to Dr Ahmad Zahid.

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