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REVELATION: Government exposes 12 threats by different groups since 1999
KUALA LUMPUR: FOR the first time yesterday, the government disclosed planned attacks by different militant groups in the country.
Listing out 12 incidents that took place between 1999 and 2010, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told members of parliament in the Dewan Rakyat that he was able to make these disclosures after getting the green light from the Special Branch head.
Nazri, when winding up the debate on the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Bill, said the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) had planned a bomb attack in Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, targeting foreign visitors visiting entertainment outlets on Dec 31, 1999.
“Six pipe bombs were planted but they did not explode because of wet mixtures.”
In 2000, the authorities learned of a plan by Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM) to attack a United States’ warship docked at Port Klang. The planned attack was aimed at destabilising ties between Malaysia and Singapore.
This led to seizure of items, including ammonia nitrate.
Also in 2000, JI planned another attack — this time the target was the Woodlands Customs and Immigration complex. In 2001, KMM members were responsible for robbing Hong Leong Bank and Southern Bank in Petaling Jaya.
Nazri also said KMM was responsible for the killing of Lunas state assemblyman Dr Joe Fernandes in 2000.
He said Dr Fernandes was believed to have been killed by KMM, whose main suspect, Zulkifli Abd Hir @ Marwan, is still at large and hiding abroad.
In 2006, he said there was a plan to kill state assemblymen in Sabah by the Darul Islam (DI) group.
DI members in Tawau and Sandakan helped to smuggle militant elements from Southeast Asia to southern Philippines to conduct military training and smuggling of firearms as well as explosives in 2006, he added.
Nazri said there were also attempted attacks on the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Bukit Aman federal police headquarters, as well as the Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds outlets by JI.
"The militant group had done surveillance on their targets, but the authorities managed to stop such attacks from taking place following arrests made under the Internal Security Act."
On Jan 31, 2008, he said, two JI members from Indonesia entered Malaysia using false passports and they checked out the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) in Jalan Ampang with the intention of launching an attack. However, the two were arrested and deported to Indonesia.
They are serving a jail sentence in their country.
Also in 2008, four JI members, recruited in Malaysia, were arrested in Thailand for posing a threat to security in southern Thailand.
Two of them, aged 28, were sentenced to 28 years' jail.
"The other two, one of them only 17 years old at the time of arrest, were released and deported home."
The JI struck again in 2009 when it robbed a 24-hour convenience store and a jewellery outlet.
Investigations revealed 64 JI members had received military training in southern Philippines and 38 others in Afghanistan.
Two years ago, in January, Nazri said an al-Qaeda cell was detected operating in Gombak. They were recruiting new members to become suicide bombers, he added.
The cell planned to attack religious locations, including a temple in Batu Caves.
The authorities succeeded in crippling all attacks.
These threats, he said, led to the drafting of preventive and preemptive measures, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 bill.
The bill, which replaces the Internal Security Act 1960, was passed without any amendments yesterday.