KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — The 28-year-old man nabbed at an LRT station here yesterday over suspected links to the Islamic State (IS) terror network was planning to stage a suicide attack in the city, according to local police.
A source from the police counter-terrorism unit told Malay Mail Online that initial investigations revealed that the man travelled from Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur under instructions from his counterpart in Syria.
“The attack was suppose(d) to be last night at a karaoke or a pub,” the source said when contacted, without revealing further information about the suspect.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed in a statement this afternoon that the man, who he said was picked up at the Setiawangsa LRT station and not the Jelatek station as previously reported, admitted to being instructed by his Syrian comrades to stage the suicide attack.
The national police chief also confirmed that the man is the individual responsible for hanging IS flags at several locations in Terengganu, Perak and Johor.
The flags, said the IGP, was to serve as a reminder to the Malaysian government of the militant network and its call on the authorities to stop the crackdown on IS elements here.
Khalid had earlier today took to Twitter to commend the police force for arresting the man.
“Syabas E8 CK @PDRMsia semlm tkap 1 (left) disyaki elemen IS di LRT Jelatik, Ampg. Senjata dan dokumen IS dirampas. #GoPDRMGo” he wrote using his Twitter handle @KBAB51.
[Translation: Well done, E8 unit @PDRMsia for arresting one man with suspected links to IS elements at the Jelatek LRT station, Ampang. Weapons and IS documents seized. #GoPDRMGo]
The E8 is the counter-terrorism unit under the police Special Branch.
Malaysian police were put on red alert following the bombings in Jakarta two days ago that involved at least seven blasts and left seven people dead.
Following news of the attacks on Jakarta, Khalid announced in a statement here that extra precautionary steps would be implemented at border areas to prevent terrorists from infiltrating Malaysia.
“Following several terrorist-related incidents that took place around the globe over the last few months, the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) have been stepping up preventive measures and implementing a high degree of alert to pre-empt such atrocities from happening in Malaysia.
“Those on our radar as being suspiciously related to terrorist activities will be monitored closely,” he said in the statement Thursday.
The Jakarta blasts followed a suicide bombing in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday that killed 10 people, all of whom were Germans, which officials reportedly blamed on the Islamic State.