Movida was not original target

movida-1PETALING JAYA: The Movida club in Puchong, which was hit by a hand grenade attack on June 28, was not the original target of the attackers.

In a report today, the New Straits Times (NST) quoted sources saying the bombers had initially targeted another pub nearby which however was not open for business that particular day.

“They then opted for Movida, which had yet to conclude business for the day and still had a large number of people inside,” the source was quoted as saying.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar yesterday revealed police had so far arrested two suspects directly involved in the attack that injured eight, and were looking for two more to assist in investigations.

The nabbed suspects are part of 15 men with links to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, detained by the police since the attack.

According to the NST report, the two suspects include a 28-year-old Muslim convert from Sabah, who had scouted for places to attack in the days prior to the incident.

Police have ascertained that the duo had gotten in touch with Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi (Malaysian IS fighter in Syria who ordered the hit) via social media last year.

The daily also managed to speak to Muhammad Wanndy prior to the deactivation of his social media accounts, where he issued a warning about bigger attacks to come, should the government continue its crackdown against the militant group.

He called on the authorities to stop using the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) to “punish” its members in Malaysia, failing which they (militants) would resort to using SVBIEDs (suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices).

This idea was however dismissed by counter-terrorism experts, who said IS members here had neither the resources nor the skills to rig vehicles with explosives to carry out attacks.

Muhammad Wanndy also reportedly justified the attack on Movida, declaring it “a place of sin that had been frequented by Muslim youngsters”.

To prove he was the one who ordered the Movida attack, Muhammad Wanndy also reportedly sent NST a picture of the M67 grenade used in the blast, which he said the attackers had forwarded to him prior to the attack.