ISIS sends dozen suicide bombers to Malaysian ASEAN summit - leaked memo
Malaysia's police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, has responded in a statement to the disclosure of an internal police circular that warned of the possible presence of suicide bombers in Kuala Lumpur and Borneo.
According to the Malaysiakini online news daily, Khalid has confirmed a leaked police circular on a meeting between members of Abu Sayyaf, a Philippines-based terrorist group, and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The circular allegedly reports that IS have dispatched suicide bombers to Sabah (one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia's capital and most populous city).
“There have been reports of imminent terrorist threats in Malaysia,” the police chief said in a press statement. “At this point, I would like to underline that they have yet to be confirmed,” he added.
The circular, dated November 16, reportedly originated from intelligence gathered from a meeting held between IS, Abu Sayyaf and the Moro National Liberation Front.
The Sunday meeting in Sulu, the Philippines, was reportedly attended by “14 leaders from the three outfits and 50 members of Abu Sayyaf armed with M16 rifles, pistols and bombs,” the circular claimed. It also reportedly stated that leaders of the terrorist groups have decided to recruit more new members, and to dispatch some of their followers to Sabah and Kuala Lumpur.
The note reportedly alleged that Abu Sayyaf and Islamic State already have eight suicide bombers in Sabah and 10 in Kuala Lumpur, according to Malaysiakini.
“These suicide bombers underwent military training in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as prepared to receive orders from their leaders to launch attacks/bombings,” the online daily quoted the circular as reportedly saying.
The latest attacks by Islamic State militants in France, Egypt, Lebanon and the Philippines have also prompted Malasya to beef up security. "Security checks at all entry and exit points to Malaysia have been stepped up," Khalid said.
At least 2,000 army personnel were being positioned at strategic points in Kuala Lumpur and another 2,500 were on standby, Malaysian Armed Forces chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said, according to Reuters.
ISIS has recently claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people on November 13 and have been called the worst in French history.
Earlier this month Islamic State also claimed to be behind the downing of a Russian Airbus 321 passenger jet with 224 people on board, en route from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, on October 31.
Russia has been conducting dozens of sorties against Islamic State and other extremist targets in Syria on a daily basis since September 30, after an official request was made by President Bashar Assad.