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Six suspected militants charged over terror plot in Malaysia

Malaysian police stand guard outside a federal court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on February 10, 2015. (AFP photo)

Malaysian security forces have charged six suspected militants for allegedly planning to carry out a series of terrorist attacks across the Southeast Asian country. 

The men, including an Indonesian suspected to be an arms expert, appeared at a court in the northern state of Kedah on Thursday. 

A senior lawyer said heavy security arrangements were put in place in and around the court.  

"They were handcuffed and brought to court under heavy security," media outlets quoted lawyer, Shariff Mat, as saying.

According to court documents, the militants, aged between 25 and 48, were charged with being "party to a conspiracy to promote terror in Malaysia.”

Law enforcement agencies say the militants were among a group of 17 arrested in early April in connection with a suspected plot to kidnap high-profile figures and wage terrorist attacks.

Malaysia’s national police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, had earlier said the plotters were believed to have been inspired by the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.

Police sources say the group was planning a series of attacks in the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, and in nearby Putrajaya, which houses Malaysia's federal government apparatus. The militants had been also planning to rob banks and raid police stations to obtain weapons.

The developments come as Malaysian authorities have detained scores of people believed to be supporters of the ISIL terrorist group. 

Last month, the Malaysian Home Ministry presented a proposal including two new anti-terror laws to curb militant acts in the country. 

Malaysian authorities are worried that the ISIL terrorist group is gaining an increasing number of recruits and supporters in the country.

The government has identified nearly 70 of its nationals who have joined ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and five who have been killed while participating in the group’s terrorist activities.

Malaysian security sources say another 120 people, including men and women, with suspected links to the ISIL are being kept in custody. 


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