Hishammuddin confirms 5 ATM members among suspects linked to IS

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KOTA BARU: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today confirmed that five members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) were among individuals detained for alleged involved with the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group two days ago. He declined to reveal details on the five soldiers, but said ATM had handed over the matter to the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division for investigation.

“The soldiers, who are from the lower rank, have been suspended with immediate effect, and this brings to 11, the number of soldiers detained for suspected involved with the IS,” he added. He was met by reporters after opening the Kota Baru UMNO divisional delegates meeting here.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was reported to have said that police had detained 10 individuals, all locals, including six members of the security teams, for alleged involved with the IS in simultaneous operations conducted in Kuala Lumpur and five states last Wednesday. Following the involvement of soldiers in the IS, Hishammuddin said although the situation was not serious, proactive measures had been taken by ATM to prevent incidents happening abroad from happening in the country.

“We are working with intelligence agencies worldwide because no country is spared by the IS,” he added. Hishammuddin, who recently chaired the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, said the ministers unanimously agreed to not support or allow IS to spread to the region. “Each and every country will take action to avoid spread of the IS movement,” he added.

On the bomb blast in Bangkok, Thailand, last Monday, he said the ministry was following the development closely, adding that he had been informed by his Thai counterpart that any confirmed information on the incident would be extended to Malaysia. Five Malaysians were killed and three others were injured in the blast which occurred at Ratchaprasong intersection near the Erawan Shrine at 7 pm (8 pm Malaysian time). They were among 20 people killed and 123 injured in the explosion. –Bernama

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