Form 6 student among 3 held over planned Oktoberfest bomb attacks (Updated)

The Special Branch's counter-terrorism unit arrest two of three men who planned to carry out bomb attacks on the Oktoberfest beer festival.
The suspects are hauled up by the Special Branch's counter-terrorism.
The Special Branch's counter-terrorism unit carry out a raid at the premises where a Form Six student and two other men who planned to carry out bomb attacks on the Oktoberfest beer festival here were nabbed, in Kelantan.

KUALA LUMPUR: A warning by police last month of a planned militant attack at the Better Beer Festival 2017 was no joke.

Today, police proved they were right when Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun revealed the arrest of a three suspected militant bombers who had built high-impact improvised explosive devices (IED) or homemade bombs which they had planned to blow up at the festival.

The suspects, a 19-year-old Form Six student, a 34-year old ex-army personnel and a building contractor, aged 25, all Malaysians were arrested in Kelantan in a sting on Oct 10 by the Special Branch's Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU)

In a press conference at Bukit Aman today, he said the arrests are proof that police did not fabricate their earlier warning of a planned armed assault during the festival.

Mohamad Fuzi said the raiding party seized several IEDs and its parts.

Fireworks, matchsticks and a book on bomb-making were also among the many items recovered at the student's house.

He said the IED had an impact radius of 30m and was lethal enough to kill and injure within the range.

Mohamad Fuzi said the bombs were made of PVC pipes filled with explosive powder and ball-bearings as projectiles.

He said police had botched the trio's plans of launching an attack at the Better Beer Festival 2017 and other targets such as places of worship of non-Muslims, entertainment centres and the city centre here and Selangor.

"Our statements prohibiting the Better Beer Festival has to do with a serious security threat and we vehemently deny the allegations made by various parties that the police are fabricating facts to scare the organisers of the event." he said.

He said the student who was the main member of the plot had experimented on two IEDs he built with the other two suspects at an open field behind his house on Sept 28.

Mohamad Fuzi said while one exploded the other had failed to.

He said the ex-soldier from Kota Baru who is now a construction worker had helped raise funds for building the homemade bombs.

Mohamad Fuzi said the man (ex-soldier) and the contractor, from Pengkalan Hulu, Perak were arrested at a restaurant.

He said the contractor was found to have been in contact with slain Malaysian Daesh militant Mohammad Wanndy and members of the Gagak Hitam cell who were behind the Movida Cafe bombing in Puchong on June 28 last year.

"The student is from the Sri Aman secondary school in Pasir Puteh and is expected to sit for his examination (STPM) on Nov 6. Although he is in our custody, we will make arrangements with the education department to enable him to sit for the examination."

He said it is being investigated if there are others who are involved with the trio.

Asked how the suspects learnt how to make the bombs, Mohamad Fuzi said there was a former soldier among them who would know about explosives and there are also such information of bomb-making formulas in cyberspace.

"Since 2013, there has been eight attempts by militants to pull of such attacks here but we managed to stop it. My men at the CTU headed by Datuk Ayub (Special Branch deputy director DCP Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay) have been working round the clock to ensure our country is safe of such threats. They are doing a wonderful job." he said.

Mohamad Fuzi said since January this year, police have arrested 78 suspected militants nationwide.