Islamic militancy

Malaysian police foiled attack on Arab royalty ahead of Saudi King Salman’s visit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 4:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 4:07pm

Malaysia on Tuesday said the seven militants arrested late last month were planning an attack on “Arab royalties” visiting its capital Kuala Lumpur.

The arrests were made just days before Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited Malaysia on February 26.

“They were planning to attack Arab royalties during their visit to Kuala Lumpur. We got them in the nick of time,” Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters.

On Sunday, Malaysia said it had arrested one Malaysian and six foreigners - one Indonesian, four Yemenis and one East Asian - between February 21 and 26 for suspected links to militant groups including Islamic State.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds over the last few years for suspected links to militant groups.

The Southeast Asian nation has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen linked to Islamic State launched multiple attacks in Jakarta, the capital of neighbouring Indonesia, in January 2016.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June last year wounded eight people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Salman was in the capital Kuala Lumpur with a 600-strong delegation before leaving for Indonesia and Brunei.

King Salman’s will also visit Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan on his month-long swing through the region promoting the kingdom as an investment destination.