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Man kills 2 officers at police station in Malaysia in a suspected Jemaah Islamiyah attack

Jemaah Islamiyah is widely blamed for attacks in the Philippines and Indonesia, including the 2002 bombings in the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed 202 people.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A man stormed a police station in Malaysia and killed two police officers early Friday in what’s being investigated as a Jemaah Islamiyah terror attack. The man also injured another officer before being shot dead.

Material linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, a shadowy Southeast Asian terror network that is linked to al-Qaida, was found in the attacker's home and five members of his family believed to be JI members were arrested for investigation, national police chief Razarudin Husain said.

The attack in Ulu Tiram town in southern Johor state, which is about half an hour drive from the causeway to Singapore, appeared to have been planned, he said. Though the motive was unclear, Razarudin said it could have been an attempt to take firearms from the station for a “yet-to-be determined agenda”.

Two students also were detained after they turned up at the police station just before the attack, purportedly to lodge a complaint. Razarudin said the timing of their appearance was suspicious and could have been an attempted diversion.

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The attacker arrived on his motorcycle, masked and armed with a machete. Razarudin said he had a padded bag used as a shield. The police chief said the man hacked a police constable to death, and then used the dead officer's weapon to kill another. He then injured a third officer before being shot dead.

Razarudin said the attacker has no criminal record. He said police have identified another 20 suspected Jemaah Islamiyah members in Johor, and will track them down for investigation. Security will be beefed up in police stations nationwide, he said.

Designated a terror group by the U.S and banned in Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiyah is widely blamed for attacks in the Philippines and Indonesia, including the 2002 bombings in the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. The group has been considerably weakened by security crackdowns by forces in the region in recent years.

Jemaah Islamiyah has in the past used Malaysia as a training group. In the 1900s, its leaders set up an Islamic school in Ulu Tiram -- where Friday's attack occurred -- that trained some of the group's key militants. The school was later shutdown by Malaysian authorities.

Political analyst Azmi Hassan told national Bernama news agency that the attack may have been masterminded by a new generation of Jemaah Islamiyah members.

“The attack on the police station is symbolic because traditionally, the police is a symbol of the government’s strength and sovereignty....they want to capture the station and then get supplies of weapons,” Azmi was quoted as saying.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is on a visit to Kazakhstan, said firm action will be taken.

“Strong measures will be taken to stop this madness,” he was reported as saying by Bernama. “I ask the public to cooperate, always be vigilant, and not give this evil group any opportunities."

Categories / Criminal, International, Politics

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