Police detained 10 suspected terrorists, from two different cells, who planned to launch attacks at an entertainment centre in Malacca and a Middle Eastern country.
Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the suspects were nabbed during operations by the Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division of the Royal Malaysia Police in Selangor, Pahang, Johor, Terengganu, Malacca, Kelantan and Penang from Aug 11 to 31.
In a statement today, he said five of the suspects, aged between 18 and 50, were from the terrorist cell known as "Ar Rayah" and they were arrested in operations conducted between Aug 25 and 31 in Malacca, Kelantan and Penang.
"The main suspect of the cell had planned to launch smoke bomb attack at entertainment outlets in Malacca,” he said, adding that the attack was aimed at raising panic and anxiety among patrons there.
He said the 50-year-old suspect was a foreigner who operated a restaurant and a member of a terrorist group from a Southeast Asian country who promoted its agenda through the "Ar Rayah Member" Whatsapp chat group.
He said the suspect also influenced members of the group to donate funds for the terrorist group to buy firearms and ammunition.
Fuzi said the other five suspects were from the terrorist cell known as "Asoib" or "Youth from the East" and were detained in operations conducted in Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Terengganu.
He said the group gave wrong interpretations of the hadith regarding Imam Mahadi.
The suspects, aged between 39 and 53, were planning to join a terrorist group from a country in the Middle East to launch an attack on another country bordering it, he said.
"This cell was to be supplied with various weapons by the terrorist group as soon as they arrived," he added.
He said a member of the Asoib group had left for the Middle East to prepare and coordinate the attack.
They were arrested on suspicion of committing an offence under Chapter VI A of the Penal Code (Act 574), that is, offences relating to terrorism and would be investigated according to procedures under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Act 747), he added.