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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

IS militant planned to kill non-Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR: The suspected Islamic State (IS) militant detained in Bagan Serai, Perak, was planning to procure weapons including M16 and AK-47 rifles, a pistol and a hand grenade from Thailand to target non-Muslims.

The 21-year-old suspect, who was among three militants detained in an operation between Sept 8 and 10, was aiming to launch lone wolf attacks on non-Muslims as well as their places of worship.

“Among the locations targeted were places of worship in Malaysia and southern Thai­land.

“If he failed to secure the firearms, the suspect would have resorted to knife attacks,” a source said yesterday.

It is learnt that the suspect was planning to contact an arms-smuggling syndicate to obtain the weapons before authorities caught up with him on Sept 8.

“The authorities believe that he was receiving orders from Malaysian militants in Syria.

“He has been in contact with them, as well as militants in the southern Philippines, since late last year,” another source said.

One militant, who was a mentor to the suspect, is former Universiti Malaya lecturer Dr Mahmud Ahmad, believed to be in Marawi fighting alongside the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terror groups.

Dr Mahmud fled to the southern Philippines in 2014 along with other Malaysian militants.

“Dr Mahmud taught the suspect how to make an improvised explosive device (IED).

“The suspect aimed to make a large-scale IED for attacks in Malaysia and southern Thailand,” a source said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the suspect attempted to make the bomb three times but was unsuccessful.

“We also seized chemicals used to make IEDs from the suspect’s home.

“He has connections to al-Qaeda and the Abu Sayyaf,” he added.

The suspect was arrested along with two others in Melaka and Petaling Jaya.

The second suspect – a 38-year-old cendol seller – was arrested on Sept 10 for producing IS flags and promoting the terror group’s struggle.

“He also planned to join the IS faction in southern Philippines and in Rakhine, Myanmar,” he said.

Mohamad Fuzi said the last suspect, a 41-year-old bus driver, was arrested in Petaling Jaya on Sept 10 for planning to join IS in Syria later this year.

All three were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).