Authorities foiled a plot to attack visiting Saudi royalty when they arrested four Yemenis during counter-terrorism raids last month, Malaysia’s police chief said Tuesday but without going into details.
The suspects, who have not been named, were arrested on Feb. 26 following raids in Serdang and Cyberjaya, in Selangor state. Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and his entourage arrived in Malaysia that day for a four-day visit.
Speaking at a news conference during a regional meeting in George Town on international narcotics enforcement, Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar did not name the Saudi royal targeted in the alleged plot.
“The suspects were involved in producing false travel documents and distributing drugs,” Khalid told reporters. “They were planning to attack the Arab royalty when they visited Kuala Lumpur. Thank God we got them in the nick of time before they got close to executing their plan.”
Yemenis among 7 arrested suspects
On Sunday, when they announced the arrests of seven alleged terror suspects in multiple raids in February, police said the four Yemenis belonged to a rebel faction in Yemen.
The Yemenis were linked to a counterfeit passport ring while other suspects were linked to a foiled car-bomb plot, officials told a news conference on Sunday. Police said they seized fake international passports and 270,000 ringgit (U.S. $60,600) in foreign money.
All seven suspects were being held under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 and Immigration Act, Khalid said Sunday.
Before King Salman departed for Indonesia, the Saudi and Malaysian governments issued a joint statement announcing the establishment in Malaysia of The King Salman Center for International Peace, which is scheduled to open within three months and focus on combating terrorism globally.
In addition to terrorism, King Salman and Malaysian officials discussed the Palestinian issue, the situation in Syria, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and Saudi rival Iran’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia announced the signing of four memoranda and joint ventures valued at 9.74 billion ringgit (U.S. $2.19 billion) in oil and gas ventures, Islamic finance, halal products and manufacturing.