Derechos | Equipo Nizkor
Malaysia Links Nightclub Attack to Islamic State
A grenade attack at a nightclub in Malaysia last week was the work of the Islamic State, and two men who received instructions from a fighter for the group have been arrested, the Malaysian authorities said on Monday.
The attack early last Tuesday in the town of Puchong, near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, injured eight people and was thought to have been the first assault in Malaysia tied to the Islamic State.
Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's inspector general of police, said at a news conference that the two suspects had been ordered to carry out attacks by a known Islamic State fighter from Malaysia, whom he identified as Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi.
"The two of those arrested had received instructions from Muhammad Wanndy, who had commanded them to carry out attacks in Malaysia on our government leaders, top police officials and judges," Mr. Khalid said.
The police have arrested 15 people, including two police officers, in connection with the assault on the Movida nightclub, Reuters reported. Two more suspects were being sought.
The police initially said they believed that the attack was gang related or had been prompted by a business dispute. But after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for it on Facebook, the police refocused their investigation.
Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, and the authorities have been active in rounding up people suspected of Islamic extremism.
Mr. Khalid said all of the suspects who had been detained since the nightclub attack had been told to target top officials and entertainment centers.
The authorities are also investigating reports on social media that at least one of the six men who attacked a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Friday had attended Monash University in Malaysia, an affiliate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty hostages and two police officers were killed in that attack.
The university released a statement saying that it had not received confirmation of the attackers' identities but that it had met with the authorities to discuss the reports.
Greg Barton, a research professor in global Islamic politics at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization in Australia, said extremists had avoided attacking Malaysia in the past, in part because it provided an easy, visa-free transit point useful for planning.
But that could be changing, as the Islamic State mounts attacks all over the world.
Professor Barton pointed out that a large number of radicals had gravitated to the Klang Valley region of Malaysia, where they blend in with nonviolent extremists, making it difficult for the police to break up plots.
"The Malaysians deserve some credit for intelligence and disruption achievements against local I.S. networks, but they are yet to be seriously tested," he said, referring to the Islamic State. "And all the indications are that testing times are coming in the second half of this year."
[Source: By Richard C. Paddock, International New York Times, Bangkok, 04Jul16]
Islamic paramilitary organizations
|This document has been published on 06Jul16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.|