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Malaysia reveals Islamic State plot to kidnap prime minister

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he was among the targets.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   March 9, 2016 at 8:33 AM
| License Photo

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 9 (UPI) -- The Islamic State intended to kidnap three top Malaysian leaders, including the prime minister last year, officials told Parliament.

The abductions were part of a planned series of attacks across the country, including in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament Tuesday. Hamidi, Prime Minister Najib Razak and Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein were targeted by IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL, for kidnapping.

"On Jan. 30, 2015, a total of 13 people with ties to Daesh had planned to kidnap the leaders, including the prime minister, home minister and defense minister," Hamidi said. "We detected plans to attack several locations in Kedah, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, attempt to rob of firearms from army camps, making of explosions, robbing cash-in-transit vans as well as plot to kidnap the country's leaders for ransom."

He added IS has no active network in Malaysia, that alleged cells in the country were taking orders from Syria and that police prevented four IS attacks in Malaysia in 2014, involving tests of improvised explosive devices and assaults on entertainment venues and houses of worship.

"I'm not scared, it's not me as an individual, but the post that I hold. Whatever it is, I leave it to the authorities to ensure the safety of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as well as other Cabinet ministers," Hussein said, using an honorific name for the prime minister.

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