KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian police said on Monday they have arrested seven suspects, including five Filipinos and one Malaysian immigration officer, in connection with the Islamic State (IS).
The first Filipino suspect, who has permanent residence in Malaysia, was found to have provided funds to Malaysian fugitives “Dr. Mahmud Ahmad” and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, who joined the IS in southern Philippines as recruiters for the terror group, said Khalid Abu Bakar, inspector general of the police, in a statement.
Another two were believed to have assisted the transit of three Indonesian IS militants to southern Philippines through the Malaysian state of Sabah, said Khalid.
The police believe the arrested Malaysian immigration officer helped arrange travel for several terror suspects to southern Philippines without valid documents.
The suspects were arrested in a series of counter-terrorism operations between Wednesday and Sunday in Sabah and Selangor, said Khalid.
It was not the first time the police uncovered links between Sabah and southern Philippines, where the Philippine government exert loose control over the Abu Sayyaf, a jihadist group.
The Malaysian police busted a four-member terror cell in Sabah in January, in which the police found that the cell helped new recruits of IS-linked militants from Malaysia, Indonesia and the ethnic Rohingya community in Bangladesh to transit via Sabah to Marawi City in Mindanao.