Local authorities announced on Friday, November 16, that eight suspected terrorists had been arrested between October 30 and November 12 in Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) and Putrajaya (administrative capital) in several security operations. Six of the people arrested are thought to belong to the Abu Sayyaf group, which is involved in widespread kidnap-for-ransom operations. Initial reports indicate that the authorities foiled a plot to carry out several kidnappings in Sabah.
Counter-terrorism operations are frequently carried out and terrorist plots in the country routinely disrupted.
There is a historical risk of kidnap-for-ransom in Sabah and nearby areas, including Philippine's Sulu archipelago (Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Basilan provinces); on September 11, unidentified gunmen abducted three Indonesian fishermen off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo. Many such incidents are linked to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, which formed in 1991 and has since pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
Individuals in Malaysia are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and report any suspicious behavior or activity to the authorities.
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