KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police said on Sunday seven members of an Islamic State (IS) cell had been arrested in a three-day operation carried out across the Southeast Asian country.
The operation was launched in four states on Jan. 22, ahead of Monday's International Conference on Deradicalization and Countering Violent Extremism that Malaysia is hosting.
Police said the suspects had received instructions to carry out attacks in Malaysia by Syrian-based IS members, including Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant named as the mastermind of Jan. 14 suicide attacks in Jakarta which killed seven people.
"All of the suspects are members of the same cell, who are responsible for planning terror attacks in strategic locations throughout Malaysia," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement.
He said the suspects were also given orders by Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, a known Malaysian IS recruiter who had previously been linked to a beheading video in Syria.