Isis claims first Malaysia strike

Threatening Isis videos are easily found online. Source: YouTube

The bombing of a bar near Kuala Lumpur was the first attack by the Islamic State militant group in Malaysia, according to the authorities.

The Movida bar and restaurant was hit by a grenade attack on June 28 during England’s defeat to Iceland in the Euro 2016 football tournament. Police had initially ruled out terrorism as a motive for the attack in which eight people were injured.

But Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia’s police inspector general, confirmed this week that two men arrested after the attack answer to Malaysian Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, known to have joined Isis in Syria. The two suspects were instructed “to carry out attacks in Malaysia, on our government leaders, top police officers and judges”, Khalid told the media.

Fifteen arrests have been made in counterterrorism operations following the attack, although not all are directly linked to the attack.

The latest attack in Indonesia took place near a police station in the central Javan city of Solo. The militant detonated himself at the station injuring a police officer. Again the limited death toll raises questions about the level of effectiveness of the militants’ training.

The ferocious Abu Sayyaf militant group, which is based in the southern Philippines and recently beheaded Canadian hostage Robert Hall, has also pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Isis recently issued a video featuring militants from Asean calling on supporters to carry out attacks in their home countries. The group claimed responsibility for a bungled attack in Jakarta in January, in which seven people were killed, five of whom were militants. The video declaring war on Malaysia and Indonesia, showing child soldiers holding AK-47s, was released as Indonesia was rocked by a suicide attack targeting a police station.

An unidentified militant speaks in a mixture of Bahasa Malaysia and Arabic.

“Know this … we are no longer your citizens, and have liberated ourselves from you,” the man says as he throws a passport to the ground. “With His permission and His assistance, we will come to you with a military force that you cannot overcome. This is Allah’s promise to us.”

Red Malaysian and green Indonesian passports are shown in the footage and are later burned. The video appears to have been made in Iraq or Syria, meaning those passports might have been useful if the militants wished to get home.

“I have ordered the police chief to chase the networks, to arrest the networks and reveal the perpetrators. We hope people remain calm, this is the last day of fasting – there is no need to be afraid of the terror. We see there are bombs everywhere, in Turkey, in Bangladesh, Baghdad, Iraq and the last one in Nabawi mosque in Saudi Arabia. Violence in whatever’s name has to be condemned and cannot be tolerated,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.