KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Suspected militants loyal to the Islamic State movement bought bomb-making material and plotted to attack a Carlsberg brewery, according to a top Malaysian anti-terrorism official. Seven people have been charged under anti-terrorism and weapons laws. The plan, which the official said was at a "discussion" stage, would be the first time militants inspired by the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) sought to launch a major attack in Southeast Asia. Ayob Khan Mydin, the police counter-terrorism division's deputy chief, told Reuters that they had attained aluminum powder, which is often used as an ingredient in bombs.
"In terms of ideology and intention it was very clear," Ayob Khan said. "It would have been carried out." The group had allegedly discussed bombing the Danish beer-maker's factory on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur as well as other targets such as pubs. Alcohol is forbidden under Islam, but is widely available in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Responding to Reuters' questions, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia said that it had taken "necessary steps to ensure security at our premises." ISIS' sweep through northern Iraq has energized radical Muslim followers in Malaysia and Indonesia. At least 20 Malaysians and up to 500 Indonesians are estimated by security officials to have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.
First published August 21 2014, 4:38 AM