KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police arrested 12 suspected militants linked to Islamic State (IS), as leaders from across Southeast Asia gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the annual ASEAN summit.
Authorities detained a dozen Malaysian men between the ages of 17 and 41 on Saturday (Apr 25) and Sunday. The raids were carried out in the state of Selangor and in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Police also seized an IS flag, and what they believe to be ingredients to make explosives – including 20kg of suspected ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate.
Among the items recovered include two litres of suspected kerosene, two remote controls, a motor alarm, an assortment of wires, four 9-volt batteries, a digital scale, two measuring devices, three PVC pipes and covers, and other items.
Authorities said the men were planning attacks across the Klang Valley, targeting government interests. The arrests are the latest in an ongoing crackdown against militancy in Malaysia. Police have detained dozens of suspected militants in Malaysia in the past year – and dozens more are said to be fighting overseas with IS.
Countering radicalisation and terrorism in Southeast Asia is expected to be a key topic at the 26th ASEAN Summit – with militancy considered a regional threat.