WHILE authorities around the world grapple with thwarting attacks by Muslim militants, counter-terrorism units in both Malaysia and Indonesia have been lauded for curbing dozens of bombing plots and assault attempts aimed at killing scores of innocents.
This year alone, Malaysian anti-terrorism police nabbed more than 115 people with links to global Islamist militant groups, preventing at least 14 attempted attacks, while their counterparts in neighbouring Indonesia — also a Muslim-majority country — had foiled at least 15 suicide attacks and bombing plots, with more than 150 arrests, according to various news reports.
Earlier this month, Malaysian police Special Branch (SB) Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, told a seminar on countering extremism at the University of Jordan that the majority of the Malaysian public were unaware of the looming threat of the Islamic State (IS) militants who had planned a series of attacks in his country.
Unlike many countries in Europe, Malaysia has yet to face any major attacks in recent memory, but Ayub Khan said the June 28 grenade attack on an entertainment centre in Puchong in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur that left eight injured, was a wake up call on the imminent presence of IS.
“Many did not believe that the IS threat is clear and present. I have been talking about IS since 2013, but only after the bombing in Puchong did they (the public) believe it,” Ayob Khan was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama. Read more