Police have foiled an attempt to attack government buildings in the Klang Valley after 12 people linked to the militant Islamic State (Isis) group were arrested, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
Khalid said police also seized explosive materials and items likely to be used in bomb-making.
“The 12 were arrested in the Hulu Langat area, in Cheras in Kuala Lumpur, and in Selangor yesterday and today, ” Khalid said in a statement.
He said the group was planning attacks on several strategic locations in the Klang Valley, in a bid to avenge police clampdown on Isis sympathisers.
The youngest among them was a 17-year-old. The others included a school dropout, a university student, a businessman and a wireman.
The arrests, under anti-terrorism provisions in the Penal Code, were made yesterday and today by the counter-terrorism unit of the police’s Special Branch.
The targets, according to police intelligence, were “strategic and important” government buildings, Khalid said.
Among the explosive materials seized were 20kg of a powder suspected to be ammonium nitrate, 20kg of potassium nitrate, two litres of kerosene, two remote controls, batteries, digital weighing machines and other items believed to be “ingredients” and tools in bomb-making.
Khalid said the planned attacks were in response to a call by a senior Isis leader in Syria to the group’s members and sympathisers to launch attacks against the interests of “secular Islamic countries” which the group deems as its enemies.
The planned attacks were also meant as retaliation against the Malaysian police for the arrests of suspected Isis members and sympathisers, and those detained on suspicion of terrorism, he added.
Khalid’s statement this evening follows his announcement on Twitter earlier today on the arrests and seizure of explosives.
“12 people in Ulu Langat/KL were planning to create chaos in the country. Explosives were seized,” he had tweeted.
To date, more than 90 people have been detained by Malaysian police for alleged ties to Isis.
Earlier this month, 17 people were arrested for suspected involvement in the planning of terrorism activities in Kuala Lumpur.
Khalid had said then that the April 5 arrests included two people who had just returned from Syria.