The U.S. and Australian embassies in Malaysia Thursday warned of a possible terrorist attack at a popular street in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the Associated Press reported. Authorities reportedly said that the threat was connected with the arrests of several militants linked to the Islamic State group.
The U.S. embassy reportedly issued an advisory Thursday urging American citizens to avoid Alor Street, a popular tourist street in the city center, and its immediate surrounding areas because of "credible threat information regarding a potential terrorist act.” It said that terrorist organizations had planned attacks in the past to coincide with significant dates. However, the embassy did not release further details.
A local police spokesman reportedly said that a statement over the possible threat will be released by Malaysia late Friday.
The Australian embassy also issued a similar alert to its citizens based on the U.S. warning.
Over the last two years, police have reportedly arrested hundreds of Malaysians for their alleged ties to ISIS. Authorities said that some of those arrested, who included civil servants and members of security forces, were purportedly plotting attacks in the country. Police reportedly said they were held for raising money for ISIS militants, recruiting Malaysians and acquiring weapons for attacks.
In May, Malaysia’s home ministry said that an estimated 75 percent of new ISIS supporters in the country were being recruited online.
In March, two Malaysians were identified in a video of a beheading by ISIS believed to have been shot in Syria. Following this, a new anti-terrorism law was passed to curb the rise in the number of Malaysian citizens joining the Sunni militant group.