Temples in KL and Selangor tighten security after foiled terror attacks

Security has been tightened around the Sri Subramaniyar Temple in Batu Caves, as well as two other historic temples in Kuala Lumpur, after four men linked to ISIS were arrested on suspicion of planning assassinations and terror attacks in Malaysia.

The other temples, besides the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniyar Temple, are the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple in at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and the Courthill Sri Ganesha Temple on Jalan Pudu Ulu.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam Kuala Lumpur (SMMTDKL) released a statement on Thursday saying the increase in security came after reports that one of reasons for the foiled terror attack was to take revenge for the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim after he sustained injuries at the Seafield temple riots late last year.

“We view the arrests seriously, and their intentions which had been planned, which was to target places of worship as well as entertainment outlets in a supposedly act of revenge on the unfortunate death of the fireman in the Seafield temple incident last year,” SMMTDKL said in its statement, as quoted by The Star.

SMMTDKL, which runs all three of the temples, said they have started conducting random bag checks and monitoring visitors to the houses of worship. They also said there are currently three security guards at the temples and security will be tightened further.

It added that random checks on bags and the monitoring of visitors is now being done, and urged devotees to keep an eye out for suspicious characters. The temples are all popular destinations for devotees as well as tourists. The Sri Subramaniyar temple alone draws about 3,000 visitors a day.

The four men who were arrested – a Malaysian, two Rohingya and an Indonesian – are said to have targeted several VIPs for assassination because they believed the VIPs had not protected Islam. They had planned to carry out the assassinations and the terror attacks during the first week of Ramadan, but were arrested in a special operation by the police Counter-Terrorism Division (E8).

The Malaysian ringleader was caught in Kuala Terengganu while the others were arrested in Kuala Lumpur and Subang Jaya. Police also seized bombs that the group had bought from a neighbouring country, a gun and several bullets.

Worryingly, there are three men, believed to be part of the conspiracy, who are still at large.

Source: The Star, AsiaOne

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