Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Eight suspected militants have been arrested in an anti-terrorism sweep in several states on the Malaysian peninsula, the country’s police chief said Monday.
The suspects, aged between 22 and 36, were arrested Friday in separate raids in the states of Selangor, Perak and Johor, police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement.
Khalid said six of the suspects are believed to be members of a local al-Qaeda terrorist cell while the two others are believed to have links with Islamic State militants.
He added two of the suspects are government employees and responsible for spreading militant ideology inside the bureaucracy.
Malaysian police have arrested over 100 suspected militants, including several members of the country’s armed forces, since early last year and more than 30 of them have been charged in court, according to the police.
Late last month, a Malaysian court sentenced to three years imprisonment a 55-year-old mother for supporting IS militants, by spreading the terrorist group’s activities on her Facebook page.