Extremist groups under constant surveillance, Johor police chief after Ulu Tiram station attack

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, May 27 — The Special Branch is keeping a close watch on groups known for extremist ideologies in case they pose a threat to Malaysia, Johor police chief M. Kumar said today amid rising security concerns.

He gave an assurance that the Special Branch continues to monitor the activities of such groups to learn more about their behaviour patterns as radical ideologies and extremist thoughts are difficult to identify within society, and the police also cannot generally judge a person's particular traits on personality and ideology.

“However, the activities of religious extremist and radical groups are always on the radar of the Johor police’s Special Branch, where information from family, immediate friends and neighbours can be vital in early prevention.

“The indicators can be in the form of changes to the person’s behaviour and their activities," he said during his opening address at the monthly assembly at the Johor police contingent headquarters here.

Kumar was referring to the deadly attack on the Ulu Tiram police station here on May 17 where two policemen were killed, while another was injured by a sole assailant who was believed to have been a radical extremist.

In the 2.30am incident, a 21-year-old man armed with a machete and riding a motorcycle, entered the police station and attacked the policemen.

He was later shot dead in a gun battle with an injured policeman.

The suspect was initially linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a known terror organisation that was identified as being behind the 2002 Bali bombings.

In another development, Kumar said the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) arrested 8,652 people in Johor for various drug offences from the beginning of the year until last month.

He said that statistics revealed that Johor has the third highest seizure among police contingents, involving 1.72 tonnes of illicit drugs worth RM13.37 million.

“The state NCID also confiscated various assets belonging to the suspects worth RM5.31 million, from eight local drug trafficking syndicates.

“Until April this year, a total of 292 people have been arrested while another 68 are detained under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) (Amendment) Act 1985,” said Kumar.