05/17/2024, 18.43
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Two dead, one wounded in Islamist attack against police station in Johor

by Joseph Masilamany

According to police, the lone, armed man who carried out the attack early this morning belonged to Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) – The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist group has struck again. After lying low for decades with fewer attacks than in the early 2000s, the al-Qaeda-linked group, today hit a district police station in Johor, mainland Malaysia's southernmost state.

Two policemen manning the station were killed in the early morning's attack, while a third was wounded. According to Johor Police Chief M. Kumar, the attacker, who was masked and wearing dark clothes, stormed the station brandishing a machete.

The two policemen killed and the one wounded were reportedly slashed by the suspect, who was shot at the scene. Constable Ahmad Azza Fahmi Azhar was struck in the neck and head, while Constable Muhamad Syafiq Ahmad Said was also shot.

At a press conference after the attack, Inspector General of Police Razarudin Husain said that five members of the suspect's family, aged between 19 and 62, were taken into custody as part of the investigation.

The suspect – who was in his mid-30s – had no criminal record but had trained before attacking the police station.

Razarudin also said that police had identified more than JI 20 members currently operating in Johor state.

Some JI members reportedly received military training in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and the group is said to have links to Al-Qaeda. Some JI members have travelled to conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Syria, and the southern Philippines to join local terrorist groups.

In 2009, JI terrorists carried out bomb attacks at the Ritz-Carlton and Marriot hotels in Jakarta, killing eight people and wounding 50.

Two suspected Malaysian JI terrorists – Mohammad bin Lep and Mohammed bin Amin – pleaded guilty to murder in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings and have been held for the past 17 years at the US military prison in Guantánamo.

From 2000 to 2009, JI and its splinter groups conducted several actions causing mass casualties in Indonesia, using suicide bombers, car bombs, and small arms against churches and foreign targets, including embassies, hotels, and entertainment venues.

Designated by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organisation in October 2002, JI operates primarily in Indonesia and is said to have up to 6,000 supporters.

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