Malaysian police have announced the arrest of 16 people on suspicion of links to ISIS.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Malaysian police have announced the arrest of 16 people, including one North African national, on suspicion of links to ISIS.
Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement Sunday that the 16 individuals -- aged between 20 and 38 years old -- were detained in a six secret operations nationwide.
He added that 14 of those detained were part of what he called a "Black Crow cell" led by Malaysian-born ISIS leader Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi.
"They had sworn an oath of allegiance to Mohamad Wanndy online. We also believe they have channeled funds to the militant leader," the police chief said.
He said that one of those being held was a 20-year-old university student who was detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sept. 22 upon his return to Malaysia.
The police also detained a North African man, and have claimed he is a member of Jahbat Al Nusra.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliate is one of the most prominent armed opposition movements in Syria.
"We believe he had sneaked into Malaysia in May. He is involved in falsifying travel documents for the terror group," Bakar said.
Jedi, a Malaysian who goes by the assumed name Abu Hamzah al-Fateh, is suspected of involvement in ISIS first attack in Malaysia on June 28 when eight customers at a Kuala Lumpur entertainment center were injured after a hand grenade was hurled towards them.
He is also suspected of recruiting locals to join the terror movement in Syria and of targeting Malaysia's senior political leaders, police and judges for future attacks.
As of last month, the Malaysian police had detained more than 230 terror suspects since 2013, including 200 locals.
It continues to remain vigilant as to the rising influence of ISIS-affiliated militant groups in the country.
Some 84 of those arrested have been charged with terror offences while 62 have been freed.
To-date, some 90 Malaysians have been identified as having involvement with ISIS in Syria.