Police arrest Islamic State militants using Sabah as transit to Philippines

Syndicated News
Written by Syndicated News

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 2017 : The Bukit Aman Special Task Force has crippled a Daesh (Islamic State) militant group which plans to use Sabah as a transit point for militants in South East Asia and South Asia to enter Southern Philippines to join other Daesh militants.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement said four suspects comprising, three foreigners from Bangladesh (two) and one from the Philippines plus a local woman were detained here and Kota Kinabalu.

The suspects, aged between 27 and 31, were detained by Bukit Aman’s Special Task Force (Operations and Counter-Terrorism) Department during separate operations between Jan 13 and Jan 19.

“With the arrest of the suspects, the Special Task Force has crippled a new group of Daesh militants who had planned to use Sabah as their transit point for militants in South East Asia and South Asia to sneak into Southern Philippines,” he said in a statement today.

Khalid said the first suspect, a Filipino aged 31, believed to be a member of the Daesh militant group but who worked as a salesman in a shop selling watches in Kota Kinabalu, was detained on Jan 13.

The Filipino was believed to be under the leadership of Dr Mahmud Ahmad (former Universiti Malaya lecturer who had joined the Daesh group in Southern Philippines).

“The suspect was believed to have been directed by Dr Mahmud Ahmad to recruit new members from Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Rohingnya from Myanmar before sending them to Southern Philippines to join the Daesh militant group in Marawi City, Mindanao, Philippines,” he said.

According to Khalid, the second suspect was a local woman, aged 27, and detained together with the first suspect in Kota Kinabalu.

“The unemployed woman from Selangor was roped in early last month through the social media,” he said adding that the woman took a flight from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Jan 13, to join the first suspect in Kota

“The two suspects were planning to move to Sandakan before sneaking into Southern Philippines,” he said.

Khalid said two other suspects who were arrested on Jan 19, were from Bangladesh, aged 27 and 28, and worked as salesmen before being recruited by the Filipino.

“The two Bangladeshi suspects are believed to be connected to a Daesh militant group operating in Bangladesh,” he said.

Khalid said investigations revealed that the group headed by Dr Mahmud had joined the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) led by Isnilon Hapilon who has close ties with Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh militants.

Apart from Dr Mahmud, two other Malaysians, Darul Islam Sabah’s Amin Bacho and Joraimee Awang had also joined the group that is operating in Marawi City, Mindanao. – Bernama



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