The man with links to the Islamic State planned to attack Mahathir, Guan Eng, Mujahid, Tommy Thomas.
The Special Branch Counter-Terrorism unit (E8) arrested a Malaysian man in January 2020 who later admitted to planning a lone wolf attack on several top government leaders as a show of support for the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group.
This was revealed by Bukit Aman Special Branch (E8) assistant director Azman Omar, who said the man had admitted he wanted to attack Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Lim Guan Eng, Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Tommy Thomas.
At the time, the four were, respectively, the prime minister, the finance minister, the religious affairs minister and the attorney-general under the Pakatan Harapan administration. At the end of February 2020, the Harapan administration was replaced with the Perikatan Nasional government.
“On Jan 6 to 7, 2020, we have arrested a local man… along with five others following their involvement in making IS propaganda videos and death threats against the country’s leaders.
“During the investigation, (the man) admitted that he intended to launch a lone wolf attack against several government leaders by stabbing them with a knife or sharp object as a sign of support for IS,” Azman said in an online roundtable discussion today.
The discussion was titled “Islam, Radicalism & Extremism In the Age of Pandemic” and was organised by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia.
The man was one of only seven arrests made by the E8 unit in 2020, Azman said.
In comparison, the E8 division made 72 arrests in 2019 and 119 arrests in 2018, he said.
However, the dramatic drop in arrests does not mean that the threat of terrorism has decreased in this region, Azman warned.
“The coronavirus-related movement control order has much affected everyone including the sympathisers and supporters of the IS group,” he explained.
The E8 division also arrested a Malaysian man working in Singapore in August 2020, with the help of Singaporean authorities, Azman said.
“This man was involved in the funding of militant activities and he was also planning on going to Syria to join IS,” he said.