Terror Threat to Malaysian King and PM Anwar Sparks Arrests

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian authorities arrested eight individuals after investigations showed suspected terror-linked threats to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the nation’s king.

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Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said six men and two women with suspected links to Islamic State were arrested by police over the weekend in four different states in the Southeast Asian country.

Their arrests followed several operations carried out in May, he said in a statement on Monday. The eight suspects included a housewife, an unemployed person and a well-educated professional, the minister said.

The arrests came just over a month after an attack on a police station in the southern Malaysian state of Johor killed two law enforcement officers and injured another. Authorities initially suspected the attacker was linked to Indonesia-based militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, but later said he had likely acted alone.

A day after the incident, Malaysian authorities arrested two men with a machete for attempting to enter the national palace and gain an audience with King Ibrahim Iskandar. The monarch hails from Johor and is currently serving as Malaysia’s king under its unique rotating monarchy system.

Saifuddin urged the public “not to be worried” about the country’s order, saying that the police would curb terror threats at an early stage.

(Updates with more details from minister’s statement in third and sixth paragraphs.)

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