KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (SBCT-D) today raided shop lots in Nilai 3, Negri Sembilan, picking up 350 foreigners.

Some of the those picked up were believed to be linked to the Islamic State of Khorasan province (ISKP) organisation, who had been in hiding in this country.

The ISKP is a branch of the Islamic State (IS) and operates in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the three-hour operation which began at 3pm yesterday, a total of 742 shops in the area known for its whole sale shops was checked by a joint-operation by various enforcement agencies.

It included 321 members of the General Operations Force, Traffic division, as well as the Federal Reserve Unit, Forensics, K9 unit, Special Action (UTK), Bomb Disposal units, Civil Defence Force, as well as the Atomic energy Licensing Board (AELB).

SBCT-D principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the operation was a follow-up to the operation undertaken at Masjid India, here, on Aug 6.

"Based on the intelligence from the operation at Masjid India, we suspected that foreigners who were involved with the ISKP had moved from Masjid India to Nilai 3 to assimilate themselves with other foreigners," said Ayob.

He said chances that some of these 350 detainees being IS members was high. The individuals picked up in the joint operation, comprised individuals from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Ayob said all the suspects were taken to the Sepang district police headquarters for a screening process. The screening process will be based on the database of the INTERPOL Foreign Fighters Terrorist List as well as the Counter Terrorist List, among others.

In the raid police also seized four swords and a sledgehammer in a carpet shop in the area.

Ayob said the outcome of the screening process will be obtained by Monday.

On Aug 6, the division swooped down on a target area in Masjid India and arrested 400 foreigners.

The New Straits Times reported in May that Malaysia had been made the unwitting receiver of foreign fighters who were prevented from entering Syria to fight alongside IS.

Intelligence feedback received, suggested that there were no less than 30 individuals, including those flagged as “high risk”, who were stopped in their tracks for their “potential risk to national security”.

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Some of the 350 foreigners picked up were believed to be linked to the Islamic State of Khorasan province (ISKP) organisation, who had been in hiding in this country. Pix by Adzlan Sidek