KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysian police have detained 15 more suspected Islamic State members, who police say planned to launch attacks and tried to obtain chemicals to make bombs.
National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement late Thursday that the 15, aged between 22 and 49, included four women, a police official, an airplane technician, a mosque cleric and a student.
Khalid said the 15 were detained over three days from Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur and six other states. He said they had allegedly received orders to launch attacks in the country from a Malaysian man who had joined the Islamic State in Syria.
The arrests followed Tuesday's bombings by Islamic militants in Brussels that killed 31 people and injured 270 others.
The group also arranged for two foreign terror suspects to sneak out of Malaysia into a Southeast Asian country, he said, without giving details. They were also involved in raising and channeling funds to a militant group in the southern Philippines, and in recruiting new members, Khalid said.
The four women were planning to go to Syria to join the Islamic State, he said.
Malaysia has raised its security alert level following the Jan. 14 attacks in neighboring Indonesia, and on Jan. 15, police said they had detained a man who was hours away from carrying out a suicide attack in Kuala Lumpur.
More than 160 people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State group have been detained in Malaysia over the past two years, including some accused of plotting attacks in Kuala Lumpur.