KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police have arrested seven men with links to the Islamic State militant group who were planning attacks on non-Muslim places of worship and other targets, authorities said on Saturday.
The Muslim-majority country has been on high alert since gunmen allied with Islamic State (IS) carried out a series of attacks in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia, in January 2016.
Six Malaysians were arrested in Johor state, north of Singapore, while a seventh, a Filipino member of the IS-linked Abu Sayyaf group, was detained in the eastern state of Sabah, in multiple operations between Feb. 27 and Mar. 15, Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement.
He said the six detained in Johor were members of an IS cell and included a 37-year-old technician who recruited new militants and was believed to be the mastermind of planned attacks on non-Muslim places of worship in the state's capital.