Special Branch hauls up 350 foreigners in hunt for IS Khorasan militants

NILAI: A large scale police operation was launched by the Special Branch's counter terrorism unit (CTU) in Nilai 3 today following intelligence reports of foreign militants of a terror cell taking refuge with a community of foreigners here.

The joint-operation saw 742 shophouses including business premises being search in the Pakistan-majority area.

Out of almost 700 foreigner, police nabbed 350 of them for screening during the third phase operation. The raiding party also seized four swords and sledgehammer.

CTU principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said today that Nilai 3 was the target of the operation as police had received information that there are suspected militants of Pakistani and Afghan origin had fled detection when police launched its first phase operation on Aug 6 at the Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur shopping hub.

"Our intelligence reports revealed that they had moved from Masjid India to Nilai 3 and hid among other foreigner communities after we carried out the first operation. We are checking if they are among the 350 we held," he said.

Ayob said the wanted foreigners are believed to be from the Islamic State's (IS) Khorasan terror cell which is based at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

As such, he said there was a high possibility that those from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan are involved with the group.

On Thurs, close to 100 students from four private and public universities and a college were hauled up in a similar operation by the CTU at Cyberjaya.

The anti-militancy operation was initiated to ahead of the upcoming SEA Games to ensure its security and safety is at top mark.

Apart from the Federal Police Interpol, K9 unit, Federal Reserve Unit (FRU), General Operations Force (GOF) bomb disposal unit, forensics unit and traffic unit assisting the CTU in the joint operation, other enforcement units namely the Immigration Department, Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), National Registration Department (NRD) and Volunteers Department (Rela) also took part in the operation.

It was also the first time such operation was carried out with the AELB to trace radioactive material using portable nuclear testing equipment loaned by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.