Militants planned 'ISIS regime' in Malaysia

Militants planned 'ISIS regime' in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - A 27-year-old boutique owner has been arrested for attempting to leave for Syria to join the Islamic State (IS).

The suspect, who is from Jerteh, Terengganu, was nabbed at the Padang Besar train station in Perlis by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division on Monday.

Sources said the suspect had planned to take the train to Bangkok before flying to Turkey.

"From there, he intended to book safe passage into Syria," a source told The Star yesterday.

The suspect, who also works as a photographer, co-owns the boutique in Jerteh with his wife, the source added.

It is learnt that the suspect had left his wife and seven-year-old son behind in pursuit of the IS cause.

The latest arrests bring the number of those detained for IS links to 93 since February 2012.

Meanwhile, on the swoop on 17 militants on Sunday, sources said the terror cell had a meeting in a serviced apartment in Cheras here before security forces moved in.

"The authorities are investigating whether the terror cell has other safe houses in the Klang Valley. No weapons were recovered," a source said.

It Is learnt that among the militants arrested were a private driver, businessmen, religious teachers and restaurant owners.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the terror cell was planning to create an IS-style regime in Malaysia.

To achieve its objectives, the terror cell also had plans to kidnap VIPs and raid banks to fund their activities, he said.

"We received information that they were also plotting to raid several army camps and police stations to boost their weapons cache.

"The locations identified as the cell's terror targets were in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya," he said yesterday.

He added that among others detained were two Armed Forces personnel and an Indonesian militant, believed to be a former member of the Jemaah Islamiah terror group.

"We believe they also received funds from a terror group in a neighbouring country."

Those detained, aged between 14 and 49, are being held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

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