KUALA LUMPUR: Police have increased security levels in the country, especially at places of worship, following the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, acting Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador told a news portal.
Hamid, who is also Special Branch director, said part of heightened security measures being taken was to increase surveillance outside places of worship nationwide.
He told The Malaysian Insight that the force had last month increased vigilance after the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“The level went up another notch on Sunday following the attacks in Sri Lanka,” he said.
Hamid told the portal the Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division had been working to gather intelligence from their counterparts throughout the region.
At least one policeman, he said, was station at each house of worship.
“Yes, we have increased our level of security after the Christchurch incident and the most recent attacks in Sri Lanka. We are stepping up efforts to secure all places of worship in Malaysia.”
Last month, a man went on a shooting spree at two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people, including a Malaysian teen, and injuring dozens of others.
On Sunday, more than 300 people were killed and 500 others wounded when suicide bombers attacked three churches and several luxury hotels across Sri Lanka in the deadliest violence since the end of the country’s civil war a decade ago.
Colombo has said the attacks may have been a retaliation for the Christchurch killings, while the Islamic State (IS) militant group has since claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Some reports call IS involvement into question as the terror group generally issues statements claiming responsibility for attacks within 24 hours, while this claim took 48 hours. However, global news network CNN, quoting an unnamed Indian official, reported that New Delhi had passed on to Sri Lankan officials specific information on the attack gleaned from an IS suspect.