KUALA LUMPUR: They tested bombs at the foothills of a mountain and were planning to test a bigger bomb deep in the jungle before unleashing their terror in the Klang Valley.
The IS-inspired militants never got to create the chaos they had wanted to.
Police arrested 12 suspected militants just as they were mixing chemicals to make the explosives. The militants were said to have enough material to make a bomb with a 500m blast radius.
The members of the terror cell were said to be planning attacks on more than five targets, including government buildings, nightclubs and other entertainment outlets.
It is the first time that IS militants have been caught red-handed with such instruments of chaos and destruction in what has been described as a new stage for the movement in this country.
Bukit Amanâ€™s Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division swooped in and detained 11 of the men at the foothills of Hutan Lipur Gunung Nuang in Hulu Langat on Saturday, while they were mixing the chemicals to make the improvised explosive devices (IED).
This was followed by the arrest of the cellâ€™s senior leader at a house in Cheras yesterday.
â€œThose arrested at Gunung Nuang had planned to test the IEDs on top of the mountain,â€ said a source.
â€œThe authorities believe they had already tested a few smaller explosives at the foothills.
â€œOnce their tests were successful, the militants were planning to carry out the attacks soon,â€ the source added.
Among the items seized were 27kg of ammonium nitrate, 25kg of potassium nitrate, 40m of black and red wire, two litres of kerosene, a digital weighing scale, a modified motorcycle alarm along with two remote controls, a box of aluminium foil, three PVC pipes, a box full of 2.5cm nails and IS flags.
Sources said the cell was capable of making multiple bombs and if all the available materials were combined, it could make a bomb with a 500m blast radius.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the terror cell was planning to launch attacks on a few strategic locations and government infrastructure in the Klang Valley.
â€œWe believe the suspects were heeding the call of senior IS leaders in Syria for them to attack Muslim countries which are deemed secular.
â€œThe attacks are also meant as revenge and retaliation for their comrades who have been detained,â€ he said in a statement yesterday.
A total of 95 suspected militants have been arrested before this.
Khalid said that the suspects, aged between 17 and 47, were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), bringing to 107 the IS-related arrests since April 2013.
Another source said the militants had indeed moved on to the next stage in their operations â€“ making bombs â€“ and were getting very close to launching attacks.
â€œIt is very worrying as it has reached a critical stage and they are really fanatical in their beliefs.â€
Among those arrested were businessmen, university students and odd job workers from various states. None of them have been to Syria.
The source said the terror cell had planned extensively for coordinated attacks although he ruled out the Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi as targets.
â€œBombing the targets was meant to incite chaos and disrupt the country,â€ he said, adding that the militants were in touch with other Malaysian militants in Syria.
It is learnt that one of the suspects, a 30-year-old man, confessed that he learnt how to make the explosives on the Internet. – The Star