Malaysian police foiled attack on ‘Arab royalty’ ahead of Saudi king visit

Seven militants, including Yemenis and an Indonesian, were arrested late last month ahead of a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman shakes hands with Malaysian King Muhammad V in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Reuters
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KUALA LUMPUR // Malaysia on Tuesday said seven militants arrested late last month ahead of a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman were planning an attack on “Arab royalties”.

The king visited Malaysia on February 26 as part of a month-long Asia tour.

“They were planning to attack Arab royalties during their visit to Kuala Lumpur. We got them in the nick of time,” Inspector General of police Khalid Abu Bakar said.

Two of the seven were planning to launch a large-scale attack using a “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device”.

On Sunday, Malaysia said it had arrested one Malaysian and six foreigners – one Indonesian, four Yemenis and one East Asian – between February 21 and 26 for suspected links to militant groups including ISIL.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds over the past few years for suspected links to militant groups.

The country has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen linked to ISIL launched attacks in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in January 2016.

A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June last year wounded eight people. ISIL said it had carried out the attack.

King Salman was in the capital Kuala Lumpur with a 600-strong delegation before leaving for Indonesia.

* Reuters