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ICC Note: Malaysian police reveals that slain Indonesian IS leader Bahrum Naim in Syria was the master behind the recruitment of at least 26 Malaysians into the terror group. The group plotted to attack churches, temples and entertainment spots in Johor, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in 2015 to take revenge against the police for arresting terrorist suspects.

07/13/2018 Malaysia (Channel News Asia) – Terror plots from Indonesia to Singapore, including a 2016 plan to launch a rocket attack on Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, were all linked to one Indonesian computer expert who recruited and masterminded attacks in both countries.

It is now revealed that Bahrum Naim, 34, an Indonesian Islamic State (IS) leader in Syria who was a master online recruiter and bomb-making instructor, was also behind the recruitment of at least 26 Malaysians into the terror group.

According to the Royal Malaysian Police intelligence agency, Special Branch, the 26 men belonged to a cell that plotted a series of terror attacks on churches, temples and entertainment spots in Johor, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

“Bahrum recruited Malaysian citizens to go to Syria. The group was called Malhama Qubra,” Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, head of Special Branch counter-terrorism division, told Channel NewsAsia.

Regional security sources told Channel NewsAsia earlier that Bahrum was killed in a US drone strike in Syria sometime before Ramadan.

“He (Bahrum) also ordered the subjects (members) to launch attacks in Malaysia before going to Syria. The reason for that is to take revenge against the police for arresting supporters of Daesh,” said Ayob, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

“We (police) managed to arrest 26 members of Malhama Qubra in a big operation between 22 and 28 January 2016 in Kedah, Selangor, Pahang and Kuala Lumpur, including three who were expelled by Turkey authorities for trying to slip into Syria,” said Ayob.

According to Ayob, the IS-linked Malhama Qubra plotted to bomb a Chinese temple and a church in Tampoi, Johor in conjunction with Christmas celebrations at the end of 2015.

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