IS Supporter Arrested In January 2020 Had Plotted To Assassinate 4 Govt Leaders

The suspect wanted to kill Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Guan Eng, among other Pakatan Harapan administration leaders.

Cover image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini & Reuters/FBI via Business Insider

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On Thursday, 25 March, Bukit Aman made a startling revelation that four government leaders under the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration were assassination targets

The revelation was made by Special Branch Counter-Terrorism unit (E8) assistant director SAC Azman Omar during an online forum yesterday, reported The Star.

A Malaysian man admitted to planning a lone wolf attack on several top government leaders to show his support for the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group.

Leaders targeted by the man were then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then finance minister Lim Guan Eng, then religious affairs minister Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof, and then attorney-general Tommy Thomas.

"During interrogation, the suspect admitted that he planned to launch lone-wolf attacks against the then government leaders," Azman revealed.

"He was planning to stab them with a knife or a sharp object."

Image via SAYS

The IS supporter was arrested in January 2020, along with five other men who also supported the extremist group

Malaysiakini quoted Azman as saying that the suspects were involved in making IS propaganda videos and death threats against the country's leaders.

He added that the E8 unit had arrested only seven individuals in 2020, noting that it was a significant drop in comparison to previous years.

72 individuals were arrested in 2019 and 119 individuals were arrested in 2018.

The seventh individual arrested last year is a Malaysian man working in Singapore. He was found to be involved in funding militant activities and planned to go to Syria.

Azman said the drastic drop in arrests came after the death of the group's leader — Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi — and several prominent Malaysian militants in Syria.

Although the group's influence is on a downward trend and that the counter-terrorism unit has made no arrests this year, Azman warned that it does not mean the threat of terrorism has decreased in this region.

He said the E8 unit will continue monitoring all those known to sympathise with IS, reported Malay Mail.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism unit (E8).

Image via Borneo Today

Meanwhile, PH's presidential council demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as to why he had "failed" to inform the leaders about the terrorist threat

Muhyiddin was the home minister at the time under the PH administration, a position that oversees the police department in the country.

"The presidential council wishes to convey its utmost thanks to the police for its stern action in foiling the attempt," the council said in a statement last night.

"At the same time, we regret Muhyiddin's attitude, who was home minister at the time, in failing to inform PH leaders and the people in general about this."

"This failure raises questions on the motive behind concealing this issue from the affected leaders and the PH government. Therefore, we urge Muhyiddin to explain this matter immediately."

The statement was jointly made by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Meanwhile, in January this year, a New York-based group named Dr Mahathir as one of the 'top 20 most dangerous extremists' in the world:

On the other hand, back in 2019, the Counter Terrorism for Special Branch had said that they will welcome back Malaysians who left the country to join the Islamic State in Syria:

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