KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian police said Thursday that 16 individuals including a group which had planned attacks against local politicians were arrested.
The 16 suspects belonged to several terrorist organizations and were arrested in a series of operations between July 10 and Sept. 25, Malaysian Police counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said in a statement.
The biggest arrest was the group of 12, including one Malaysian and 11 Indonesian citizens, who were picked up in the Peninsular Malaysia states of Penang, Pahang, Selangor, Johor, the capital of Kuala Lumpur, and the northern Borneo state of Sarawak.
“They are mostly involved in social media recruiting Indonesians and Malaysians to spread the Daesh (Islamic State) ideology and had also planned future attacks in Malaysia and Indonesia,” said the statement.
One of the Malaysians from the same group planned to stage attacks on politicians and non-Muslim groups, it said.
Other arrests include two Malaysians in northern Borneo state of Sabah, facilitating the movement of individuals to the Philippines who later carried out a suicide bomb attack last December, along with one Indonesian citizen who had assisted the Malaysians.
All three had also facilitated financial assistance to the notorious Philippines-based Maute terror group which is engaged in fighting the Philippine government and had planned to travel to Syria to join terrorist groups there.
The final suspect was a 38-year old female Indian citizen who had facilitated the transfer of funds to a India-based terror group. She had been working in Malaysia as a house cleaner since 2017.