IS militants nabbed in Sandakan

By Kenneth Tee
Fuzi takes a stroll along Jalan Bukit Bintang before the launch of the Crime Prevention: Snatch Theft and Pickpockets campaign. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Four suspected Islamic State (IS) militants high on the police’s most wanted list were arrested for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities on Monday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the suspects aged between 31 and 40 were all foreign nationals and that they were detained by police under the Security Offences Security Measures Act 2012.

“They were believed to have been using Sandakan as a transit hub to smuggle themselves into southern Philippines to join certain IS terror cells in the region,” he said at the launch of the Crime Prevention: Snatch Theft and Pickpockets campaign today.

On Monday, the most wanted Abu Sayyaf militant in the Southern Philippines, Abu Paliyak, was killed in a shootout with a police team from the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) in the waters off Pulau Kantong Kalungan, Lahad Datu in Sabah.

Filipino Abu, 30, had been involved in several criminal cases including kidnapping for ransom in Sabah waters and had long been on the police’s most wanted list.

Meanwhile, Fuzi said the overall crime index in Kuala Lumpur had gone down by 24.99 per cent since January until December thanks to public engagement between the Royal Malaysian Police and the public.

“However, crime involving pickpockets and snatch thieves remains worrisome and I have ordered all police chiefs nationwide to ensure the crime rate goes down even more significantly,” he said.

He said the overall national crime index had also dropped by 13.5 per cent with the exception of Sabah which recorded a slight increase.

“Hopefully, we are able to maintain this performance until the end of the year and to execute our duties professionally so that the people are confident of our abilities in addressing security concerns,” he said.

Fuzi said he had instructed Bukit Aman Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department director Datuk Tajudin Md Isa to cooperate with existing policing units, NGOs and volunteer groups in a bid to reduce the crime rate further before the end of the year.