KUALA LUMPUR: A restaurant helper spent months planning to bomb the Tapah police district headquarters in Perak and hoped to get the explosives from an Islamic State (IS) cell in Indonesia.
His plan was to use a car bomb – he wanted to park the vehicle next to an oil storage tank at the Tapah bus station which was near the police building, and then detonate it.
“He planned to set off the blast and then escape to Syria,” said a source with knowledge of the case, adding that the 31-year-old man had learned how to make a car bomb from the Internet.
Luckily, what he cooked up was smoked out by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division which arrested him on March 17. It was the fifth terror plot foiled so far this year.
The restaurant helper had been in contact with the Indonesian IS cell since late last year, said the source.
Swift arrests: (From left) Counter Terrorism Division officers arresting the veterinary shop owner in Bidor, a resort worker in Kota Tinggi and a primary school teacher in Kulim, Kedah.
Swift arrests: Counter Terrorism Division officers arresting the veterinary clinic owner in Bidor.
Also detained over the plot was a 28-year-old veterinary clinic owner in Perak, who was among the nine militants caught in a police swoop that included Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan and Johor between March 15 and 21.
The others included a Puspakom technician, primary school teacher and two security guards.
The technician, arrested in Klang on March 15, was believed to be a member of the Gagak Hitam (Black Crow) terror cell behind the Movida club attack in Selangor last year, which police said was the first IS-linked attack on Malaysian soil.
“We believe he was also channelling funds to militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi in Syria,” said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement yesterday.
The 37-year-old teacher nabbed in Kulim, Kedah, has reportedly admitted to spreading Salafi Jihadi extremist teachings via Facebook to recruit more militants for IS.
Swift arrests: (From left) Counter Terrorism Division officers arresting the veterinary clinic owner in Bidor, a resort worker in Kota Tinggi and a primary school teacher in Kulim, Kedah.
Counter Terrorism Division officers arresting a resort worker in Kota Tinggi.
And one of the security guards who was arrested wanted to join IS in Syria and if that was not possible, he planned to offer himself to an IS cell in southern Philippines, Khalid said.
The swoop also netted a mechanic in Kelantan who is believed to be sending money to Malaysian militants who have joined the IS in Syria.
Khalid said the remaining detainees – a 46-year-old security guard, 20-year-old cybercafe worker and 24-year-old resort worker – were all members of a local IS cell.
It is believed that the security guard had recruited three other militants and was helping to smuggle weapons from southern Thailand.
As for the restaurant helper, he was linked to the IS cell in Poso, Indonesia, and had been actively recruiting militants, including the veterinary clinic owner, Khalid said.
On Feb 26, police caught four Yemenis in Cyberjaya over a plot to launch an attack during a state visit by the Saudi king to Malaysia. As of February 2013, police have arrested 294 militants in the country.-thestar