Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Malaysian police have arrested ten people for alleged links to the militias of the Islamic State (IS). Police investigations reveal that the group was planning attacks in the country. Late in the evening yesterday Khalid Abu Bakar, national police chief, said that 10 individuals - all of Malaysian nationality - were "planning to buy weapons, to launch attacks on the territory and have the necessary logistics for the transfer Malaysians eager to join the IS in Syria".
The senior officer confirmed the danger of attacks, but declined to give further details about the attacks, the possible objectives and their possible modalities. They were arrested on 19 August in various parts of Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim nation and the theater in the past of violence with a religious background.
Eight of those arrested are men, two women, all aged between 24 and 42 and include a kindergarten teacher, a former interior designer and two public officials. The other six were members of the state security forces.
As previously reported by AsiaNews, fundamentalist movements and local Muslim leaders have found inspiration in the exploits of Sunni fighters. Many support the fight for the creation of the Islamic Caliphate, which now reaches across Asia.
Extremist cells and recruiters already operate in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, as well as in neighbouring Malaysia. Many are known to be preparing attacks on pubs, discos and bars, "dreaming of the Islamic caliphate."
According to the authorities in Kuala Lumpur dozens of fellow citizens have traveled to Syria to take part in the civil war; many have returned home with the aim of triggering attacks and promoting the ideology of fundamentalist jihadists. Last year, police arrested several suspects (at least 108 according to sources of the anti-terrorism), considered sympathizers or members of the local IS.