Malaysian authorities on Sunday detained 17 people, suspected of planning terror attacks in the country. Of the people arrested, two of them had recently returned from Syria, local reports said, citing Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.
“As I mentioned before, I will never allow Malaysia to be a transit point or hideout for any terror groups,” Bakar said, according to the Star Online, a local newspaper, adding: “Congrats to the Counter Terrorism division for the excellent work.”
No further comments were immediately available on the arrests.
The country has detained several people in the past, suspecting them to be supporters of the Islamic State group, according to the Associated Press. The Malaysian home ministry had also tried to introduce two new anti-terror laws last month, which would allow authorities to detain people suspected of supporting or plotting terror activities, indefinitely, without a trial. Under the new laws, the suspects' passports can also be seized. However, critics claimed that the law may be an oppressive one as it would curb civil liberties.