Written by Staff Writer
13 Mar, 2017 | 12:05 pm
The Malaysian Police said on Monday that they have arrested seven suspects, including five Filipinos and one Malaysian immigration officer, on suspicion of connections with the Islamic State (IS).
Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement that most of the arrests were made during an operation in Sabah, on Borneo island, earlier this month.
A Philippine suspect with permanent residency in Malaysia was detained on suspicion of raising funds and channeling them to Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, two Malaysians who had joined up with the Islamic State in the southern Philippines, Khalid said.
One Philippine man was planning to travel to Syria to join up with the Islamic State there, while another was found to have pledged allegiance to Isnilon Hapilon, the Philippines’ most-wanted man and leader of the Abu Sayyaf militant group.
Khalid also said that two other Philippine suspects, a man and a woman, were arrested for smuggling three Islamic State members from Malaysia and Indonesia to the southern Philippines through Sabah.
A Malaysian airport immigration officer was also arrested as it was suspected that she was aiding individuals without proper travel documents, including Malaysian and Indonesian Islamic State followers, to enter and exit the Philippines through Sabah.
South Asia has seen an increase in IS related threats in recent times. With a Muslim population of 240 million, the infiltration of the region seems sought after by the Islamic State.
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