Home minister says eight nabbed for suspected terrorism a concern for spreading caliphate ideology, made police their No 1 target

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today backed the police in arresting eight people last weekend on suspicion of having links to the Islamic State (IS) terror network that believed in toppling an elected government to set up a caliphate in Malaysia.

He was reticent when asked what threats they supposedly made against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the prime minister.

“I will just say that this operation is under the special unit E8 whose core business is to find proof and intelligence. When they did their monitoring and data gathering, they found there was enough to make the arrest,” he told reporters after officiating the Retired Senior Police Officers Association Malaysia’s annual general meeting here.

“The police used existing laws to apprehend them which means all the intel we had gathered beforehand allowed us to make the arrests,” he added.

The arrests of six men and two women took place on June 22 and 23 during a coordinated operation across four states.

Saifuddin Nasution said the arrests were a follow-up to previous operations that took place on May 15, 17 and 30.

All eight suspects are being investigated under Act 574 of the Penal Code and will be investigated under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, better known as Sosma.

The eight suspects included a housewife, a jobless person and a professional, the minister said.

When asked if the suspects had ties to Daesh — the other name for the IS terror network — Saifuddin Nasution said their ideologies were more concerning.

“Daesh is only a term, what's important is their ideology. They believe that when someone governs without believing in the caliphate, they must resist them.

“In doing so, they made the police as their number one target in trying to topple the government. This was their belief and they were spreading it, but we managed to break them and unravel their motives,” he added.

He said the Malaysian government is firm in its stance that there will be no compromise against those who incite, commit, support, or sympathise with elements of extremism, radicalism and terrorism in the country.

He also urged the public, community activists, organisations, non-governmental bodies, the private sector and all parties to cooperate and work together to address these threats and prevent them from undermining the unity and peace of the nation.