KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysian police said Tuesday that they have detained another three men, including two civil servants, suspected of being linked to the militant Islamic State group.
The detentions bring the number of people held for suspected militant links to 43 this year.
National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the three were detained Nov 27-28 in operations in Kuala Lumpur and in northern Kedah state.
Khalid said in a statement that a 36-year-old suspect had joined militant groups in Syria since Dec 28 last year and returned to Malaysia on April 8.
Another two, both civil servants in their 20s, were believed to have been channeling funds to several Malaysians who want to go to Syria to join the Islamic State terror group, he said.
The spread of the Islamic State ideology has worried Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently warned that it can cause chaos and conflict in the country. He said the government would introduce a new anti-terrorism law next year to combat the security threat.
No details have been given on the new law, but officials said it may include preventive measures such as detention without trial. Critics have urged the government not to revive the Internal Security Act, which allowed indefinite detention without trial. It was abolished in 2012 as part of political reforms.
The government said they have identified 39 Malaysians fighting in Syria and Iraq, including five who had died.