‘We thought they’d become peaceful’: Terrorism fears return to Johor village after police killings

4 weeks ago 40


May 23, 2024, 05:00 AM


May 23, 2024, 05:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR – Dilapidated houses with broken windows, a run-down badminton court, an abandoned car with four flat tyres and a sign warning trespassers to keep out are grim remnants of a former terrorist compound in Kampung Sungai Tiram in the Malaysian state of Johor.

For the better part of the last decade, residents of this village, just 20km to the north-east of state capital Johor Bahru, have gone about their daily lives in peace, putting memories of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant group behind them.

But an attack nearby last week, in which two policemen were killed, has revived their old fears.

At 2.45am on May 17, the 21-year-old son of a former JI member entered the Ulu Tiram police station and killed an officer with a parang.

He grabbed the victim’s sidearm and opened fire on two other police officers, killing one and injuring the other.

The injured officer then shot dead the assailant.

“I thought all these (terror attacks) were over. When I found out about the killings, I was shocked and terrified,” a 30-year-old civil servant, who wanted to be known only as Ms Amal, told The Straits Times.

Her house is about 600m from the entrance to the former terrorist commune. Fearing for her safety, Ms Amal spoke to ST from behind her closed front do...

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