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Inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed that Islamic State affiliates had early last year threatened to assassinate government leaders and launch attacks on the Genting Highlands casino in Pahang and breweries in the Klang Valley.
However, Abdul Hamid stressed that such threats were a common desire by pro-Islamic State affiliates and that there were no signs that they planned to actually carry out the attacks.
He said this after Pakatan Harapan leaders criticised then home minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now the prime minister, for not informing the then Harapan government on the terror threat.
The purported threat only came to light when a top officer from Special Branch revealed the matter on March 25, more than a year after the incident.
Explaining the purported threat, Hamid said the Special Branch had on Jan 7 last year launched an operation in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and Penang.
The operation saw the arrests of five Malaysians and one Indonesian who were believed to be linked to the Islamic State. Two Islamic State flags, a parang and a knife were also seized.
He said they were members of the Anshorullah At-Tauhid group, an Islamic State cell set up in October 2019.
“Police investigation found three of those arrested had threatened to kill then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a number of cabinet members.
“They were also planning to attack the casino in Genting Highlands, Pahang and breweries around the Klang Valley.
“With regard to the threat, it is a common desire by almost all terrorist and pro-Islamic state suspects arrested by the Special Branch.
“The police constantly evaluate such assassination threats. Investigation showed no signs that there was a plan or preparations were being made to carry out the assassination threat,” he said.
He said three of those arrested, two Malaysians and one Indonesian, have been charged under Section 130JB(1)(a) of the Penal Code for possession of items related to terrorist groups and were jailed.
He added the other suspects were released on the orders of the deputy public prosecutor.