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Terror suspect who killed two police officers acted on his own, says Malaysian minister

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) – The young man who attacked a Malaysian police station and killed two officers was a recluse and believed to have acted on his own, despite suspected links to a terror group, the home minister said on Saturday.

The man stormed a police station in southern Johor state near Singapore in the early hours of Friday with a machete.

He hacked a police constable to death and then used the dead officer’s weapon to kill another. He injured a third officer before being shot dead. Police initially said the man could have been attempting to take firearms from the station.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail called it a “lone wolf attack”, based on the initial investigation, and said there was no threat to the wider public.

 “We have established that the attacker acted on his own … a lone wolf driven by certain motivation and his own understanding,” Saifuddin said. “His action is not linked to any larger mission.”

Police have said the man’s father was a known member of a Southeast Asian terror network linked to al-Qaeda, and that they found materials linked to the group in their home.

Seven people including the man’s parents and three siblings were detained and police were searching for some 20 members in the state.

The incident sparked concerns over a possible wider terror threat, prompting Singapore to issue a warning to its citizens to be vigilant when travelling to Johor.

Police initially said the attacker was 34, but Saifudin said he was 21 years old, with no criminal record. He said the man did not interact much with his neighbours, and nor does his family. Investigations are ongoing to determine what the man’s motive was, he added.

Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail during a press conference. PHOTO: BERNAMA