KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Three suspected ISIS militants who also have links to the Abu Sayyaf and Al-Qaeda have been detained following raids in three states in Malaysia.
The suspects, all Malaysians, were picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in Perak, Selangor and Melaka between Sept 8 and Sept 10.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the first suspect, a 21-year-old man, was detained in Bagan Serai, Perak on Sept 8.
"We believe he has sworn allegiance to IS and has been active with the terror group since early this year," he said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 14), using the acronym for the Islamic State, another name for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
"He also has connections to Al-Qaeda and Abu Sayyaf Group."
The suspect had also admitted to receiving guidance from Malaysian ISIS militant Mahmud Ahmad and a Saudi Arabian bomb expert to produce Improvised Explosive Devices on a large scale, the IGP added.
"He has tried to make the bomb three times. He also received orders from a Malaysian IS militant in Syria to purchase a pistol, M-16 and AK-47 rifles along with a hand grenade from a neighbouring country to launch attacks on non-Muslim places of worship," he said adding that bomb-making chemicals were seized at the suspect's house.
The second suspect - a 38-year -old chendol seller - was arrested on Sept 10 for producing ISIS flags and promoting the terror group's struggle.
"He also planned to join the IS faction in southern Philippines and in Rakhine, Myanmar," the police chief said.
The last suspect - a 41-year-old bus driver - was arrested in Petaling Jaya on Sept 10 for planning to join ISIS in Syria later this year.
All suspects were detained under the Security Offences Act (Special Measures) 2012 (Sosma).