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HomeWorldMalaysia says it foiled attack on Arab royalty ahead of Saudi king’s visit – Nasdaq

Malaysia says it foiled attack on Arab royalty ahead of Saudi king’s visit – Nasdaq


(Adds comments from Saudi source)
    KUALA LUMPUR/DUBAI, March 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia said on
Tuesday that suspected militants from Yemen arrested late last
month ahead of a visit by Saudi King Salman had been planning an
attack on Arab royalty.
    A senior Malaysian police source said the four suspects
belonged to Yemen'sIran-allied Houthi movement, which hails
from a Shi'ite Muslim sect and has been fighting other Yemeni
forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition for two years.
    Malaysian police had previously said the men were suspected
of links to militant groups including Islamic State, which is
Sunni Muslim and known by the Arabic acronym Daesh.
    A Saudi source said that it was still not certain whether
the suspects supported the Houthis or Islamic State, but that
the arrests showed why security "represents the bulk of the
entourage in foreign official trips".
    "It is no doubt a terrorist act. Should it be Daesh or
Houthis supported by Iran, this is what the local Malaysian
investigation will reveal," the Saudi source said on condition
of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.
    The king arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 26 with a
600-strong delegation for a four-day visit at the start of a
month-long Asia tour. On Tuesday he was in Indonesia.
    Between Feb. 21 and Feb. 26, Malaysia arrested one Malaysian
and six foreigners - the four Yemenis, one Indonesian and one
East Asian - for suspected links to militant groups including
Islamic State, police had said in a statement on Sunday.
    Speaking on Tuesday, Malaysia's police chief said the four
Yemenis were plotting an attack on Arab royalty.
    "Four Yemenis, apart from their role involving in producing
false travel documents they are also involved in distributing
drugs... and they are also planning to attack the Arab royalties
during the visit in Kuala Lumpur, so we got them in the nick of
time," Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told
    The Yemenis were arrested in Serdang and Cyberjaya - near
the capital Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian police had said on Sunday.
    Police seized multiple international passports from the
four, along with 270,000 ringgit($60,000) in different
currencies which police said they suspected were intended to be
channelled to insurgents.
    Police have said the Malaysian and the Indonesian who were
arrested in late February were planning to launch a large-scale
attack using a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device".
    Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people with suspected
militant links during recent years. 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.
    ($1 = 4.4450 ringgit)

 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi, Rozanna Latiff and William
Maclean; Editing by Nick Macfie, Simon Cameron-Moore, Ken Ferris
and Peter Graff)
 (([email protected]; +603 2333 8036; Reuters
Messaging: [email protected];
Twitter: @AnanthalakshmiA))


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