Cops deny terror cell members in Sibu or Bintulu

SIBU: The collaged picture of three suspected members of a Islamic State (IS) terror cell wanted by the authorities for planning a jihadist suicide attack during this month of Ramadan have been circulated among the public here via WhatsApp.

Included in the picture was the message saying the suspects, two 27-year-old men from Kedah and an Indonesian construction worker last known to be from Banting, Selangor, had entered Sarawak and are now in Sibu or Bintulu to execute attacks on churches in the two divisions.

The Christian community expressed concern over their safety, particularly when attending mass services at their churches, fearing Easter Sunday bombings at churches in Sri Lanka last month could happen to them.

Sibu district police chief Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, who was contacted by Bernama here today, dismissed the matter.

“There is no truth related to the matter which has gone viral among the public,” he said and advised them to be calm.

He did not say if any parties had lodged reports on the matter or requested for police presence at their churches during mass services.

The pictures of the suspects were released by the police following the arrest of four Islamist militants belonging to the IS group two days ago.

The four were two Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, an Indonesian and a Malaysian, who were in possession of explosives and planned to attack non-Muslim places of worship during the month of Ramadan.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador described them as an IS sleeper cell and said they planned to assassinate high-profile individuals and attack Hindu, Christian and Buddhist places of worship.

Malaysia has been on high alert since the IS series of attacks in Indonesia in 2017.