A couple of weeks ago, a grenade exploded at a Movida nightclub in Puchong while they were watching one of the EURO matches in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily the grenade didn’t kill anyone, but it did end up injuring 8 people.
And if that wasn’t terrible enough, nearly a week later, our IGP Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that the grenade attack was the FIRST successful attack by ISIS on Malaysia!
“As we have said, we investigate from all aspects, as a result of our investigation, we found that it’s true, there is an IS element involved in the incident at Movida cafe. – IGP Khalid Abu Bakar, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
And in light of all the ISIS attacks that have been happening worldwide, it really wouldn’t seem that surprising that this attack was, in fact, an ISIS attack. (They have been threatening to attack us for a while now.) But what if it wasn’t?
As we were reading up on the story, there seemed to be a few very weird things about this whole situation. To be precise, 4 things that made us rethink whether it really was a terrorist attack or not.
1. The Selangor state deputy police chief said it wasn’t a terrorist attack
“I rule out terror attack. The blast is likely motivated by business rivalry among the local gangsters or a revenge attack.” – Abdul Rahim Jaafar, Selangor deputy police chief, as quoted by South China Morning Post
Mr Abdul Rahim Jaafar said this right after the grenade attack. But besides him, when the news of the grenade attack broke out on the Lowyat forum, quite a number of people attributed the attack to gangs as well.
And it seems that they may have been on to something because we did find reports of gang violence like here and here. In fact, right after the blast, the owner of Movida actually blamed it on an Indian couple (which led to the Indian couple threatening to sue).
“An eyewitness saw two Indian men (throw) an explosive at the said couple.
This is an isolated case and (does) not in any way indicate an attack (based on) any religion, belief or race.” – Director of Movida bar, Roger Hew, as quoted by Channel News Asia
So his first thought was to blame it on something local. And speaking of local…
2. Why would ISIS wanna target Puchong anyway?
In terms of popularity, Puchong mayyy not be the most happening place in the Klang Valley la. In fact, at the time of the attack, there were only 20 people in Movida watching the EURO match. (We’re not suggesting anything, but there really are wayyy bigger clubs out there.)
Now it may seem like we’re making fun of Puchong but we’re not. We’re actually saying this to point out that if ISIS really was involved, it doesn’t seem to fit their modus operandi (the way they do things). According to the EU’s law enforcement agency, ISIS’ recent attacks have been going along the lines of go big or go home.
“In selecting their targets IS has shown its capability to strike at will, at any time, and at almost any chosen target. In its target selection it shows a preference for soft targets with a potential to cause mass casualties.” – Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks report, by Europol
Here are some attacks that ISIS has claimed credit for recently, their targets, how many people they killed in these attacks.
- Car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq (as shown in picture above).
- Hostage situation in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Shooting at a nightclub in Florida, USA.
It’s great that no one was killed in Puchong, but it isn’t like ISIS to target such a place, and what more when there was only such a small number of people present.
3. ISIS terrorists usually don’t do drive-by attacks
We’d like to clarify that what we mean is that if they intend to send a message, they’re attacks are a bit more…extravagant.
In the attacks we mentioned earlier that ISIS has claimed credit for, ALL of the terrorists pretty much went all out, with their guns a blazing, and ended up dead. In the Puchong attack? Someone threw the grenade into the crowd, which looks a lot more like a drive-by attack.
Actually ISIS does do drive-by attacks, but it seems like only when they have very specific targets in mind. For example:
- When they shot an outspoken Syrian newspaper editor.
- When they shot a Saudi Arabian Colonel.
- When they shot 15 policemen.
In Puchong however, there wasn’t even any guns involved. In fact, we couldn’t even pinpoint the last time ISIS claimed responsibility for a grenade drive-by attack. And aside from that, it’s also not very clear as to who were they actually targeting.
It’s almost like they pakai hantam.
4. ISIS themselves said it wasn’t them!
When our IGP said that the attack was by ISIS, he also added that the 2 people involved had been arrested. And that they had received orders from a Malaysian in Syria.
“We found that these two men have received orders from one of the Malaysians in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi (probably not the Star Wars one), who ordered them to launch attacks in Malaysia on senior leaders of the government, senior leaders of the Malaysian police, judges — because these three groups are those who block their activities.” – IGP Khalid Abu Bakar, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
We’ll admit that from here on there are 2 differing stories. On one hand we have this Jedi guy saying that ISIS was the one who ordered the attack (on a Facebook account with the name Abu Hamzah Al-Fateh), and that more attacks were to follow soon. He had also previously appeared in a video on this account in March earlier this year.
However, on the other hand, there have also been reports that this Jedi fella was reported to have said ISIS WASN’T responsible on a Facebook account bearing his real name.
“This is a heavy accusation intended to make those arrested as scapegoats. They (police) are cooking up stories as revenge towards me and manipulating facts of the arrests to divert the people’s attention from Malaysia’s current issues which is getting worse.” – Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi on his Facebook page, as quoted by Astro Awani
The Jedi also added that those that the police arrested were supporters BUT did not receive any instructions of any sort from him and that they didn’t do it! So in other words…
And he said that if Malaysia were to punish these 2 that we arrested, for a crime that they didn’t commit, they would take revenge big time.
Sadly we were unable to verify which side is more real because both Facebook accounts seem to have been suspended. Still, this doesn’t take away the possibility that ISIS may not actually be claiming responsibility for this attack when they’ve claimed responsibility for so many others.
So is the ISIS threat real in Malaysia?
With everything ISIS-related that is going on in the world, AND with the news that there was a video of some alleged ISIS flers declaring war on Malaysia, it’s hard to say that ISIS isn’t an issue to Malaysia AT ALL.
At the same time, with all the things that we’ve mentioned, it’s POSSIBLE that it may not be ISIS who was responsible for the grenade attack. But if that’s the case, why has our IGP already concluded that it is ISIS?
Well, there could be another reason la, something that gives our PM some pretty scary superpowers.
Some of you may have heard of the National Security Council (NSC) Bill. We talked about it in a previous article but in short it gives our PM a heck of a lot of powers like the ability to declare emergency in any area any time he wants. When this bill was first passed, PM Najib actually said that it would help prevent terrorist attacks.
Not everyone saw it the same way though. People like Lawyers for Liberty and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan criticised the bill saying that we already have existing laws that are able to deal with terrorist threats, and that our PM was using terrorism as an excuse to execute the NSC bill.
“There is simply little correlation between any terrorist activities and the powers conferred in the NSC Bill that seeks to concentrate extraordinary powers within the hands the prime minister and the NSC.” – Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
And with that in mind, it does seem a little suspicious that despite how strange the Puchong “ISIS” attack looked, our IGP has already confidently said that it was the work of ISIS just a month after the NSC bill was confirmed to be a law of Malaysia.
- 5 SCARY SUPER POWERS THAT THIS NEWLY PASSED LAW GIVES NAJIB
- DID ISIS RECRUIT THESE TERRORISTS FROM A MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITY?
- HOW SCARED SHOULD MALAYSIANS BE OF ISIS? WE EXPLORE 5 FEARS.