Malaysia Detains Seven for Suspected Links to Islamic State

  • Police say multiday operation led to captures in four states
  • Kuala Lumpur's popular areas said to be target, website says

Malaysia’s counter-terrorism police detained seven people for suspected links to Islamic State amid heightened regional security after deadly attacks in Indonesia’s capital two weeks ago.

The suspects were captured in a three-day operation in Pahang, Selangor, Kedah and Johor states in West Malaysia, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a Twitter post on Sunday. He didn’t give further details.

The seven were said to be planning attacks in popular areas in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Insider news website reported, citing unidentified police officials. A cache of bullets from various firearms, including an M16 assault weapon, also was found, according to the report.

The detentions come as concerns mount that Islamic State-linked operatives will become more active in Southeast Asia after a gun-and-suicide bomb attack in Jakarta on Jan. 14 left seven civilians dead. Malaysia has since arrested several people with suspected links to Islamic State, while Singapore last week deported 26 Bangladeshis it accused of harboring violent extremism.

— With assistance by Niluksi Koswanage

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