The US embassy has issued an advisory, warning of a possible terror attack in Malaysia. A high-level threat lurks over one of Kuala Lumpur's most popular hawker streets, Alor Street and its immediate surroundings, an intelligence report by US authorities warned.
The Australian government followed suit with a warning of its own through its Smartraveller website. Police authorities in Australia are due to make a statement on the subject on Friday, 25 September according to an Associate Press report.
"Yes, we are on alert. More policemen have been sent to the ground," a police source told the news portal, Malaysian Insider. Authorities are not taking the warning lightly amid concern about growing support for Islamic State (Isis) among Muslim extremists across south-east Asia.
In the past two years, Malaysia has arrested more than 100 supporters of the extremist group. Some of them were allegedly plotting attacks within the country. Since the infighting started, Malaysian authorities have also identified 39 Malaysians in Syria and Iraq who they believe are fighting for the IS.
An article published in the Diplomat magazine recently, reported that Indonesia's counter-terrorism chief Saud Usman Nasution has warned that the IS is working with smugglers to bring foreign fighters from Malaysia to Indonesia. He said there are reports that a number of militants had arrived in Sumatra (Indonesia) from Malaysia, and were then taken to Poso in central Sulawesi also in Indonesia, which is believed to be a training ground for IS fighters. "We need to stay vigilant; more so because there is information that in Malaysia, there are a lot of foreign terrorist fighters who are about to be deployed, we don't know where to though," he added.
Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong had also recently warned that south-east Asia has emerged as a "key recruitment centre" for the IS. "It is not far-fetched that IS could establish a base somewhere in the region here."