Malaysian immigration officer among 7 arrested for Islamic State links

TEOH PEI YING

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven people, including an Immigration Department officer, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Islamic State (IS) terror group.


Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the seven were hauled up by Bukit Aman Special Branch's Counter-Terrorism Division from Sabah and Selangor between Mar 8 and Mar 12.


Khalid said first arrest was made in Kota Kinabalu last Wednesday, involving two self-employed men, aged 18 and 27.


"The 27-year-old is a Filipino with permanent resident status. He believed to have collected funds for Dr Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, Malaysians who have joined the IS in southern Philippines since 2014.


"Meanwhile, the 18-year-old Filipino had pledged allegiance to Isnilon Hapilon, a senior leader of the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayaf terror group," he said.


Another three, including one Malaysian woman, were arrested in Sandakan.


"Two Filipinos - a 53-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, both with permanent resident status, were detained for smuggling three Indonesian terrorists to southern Philippines via Sabah.


"The 31-year-old Malaysian, an Immigration Department staff at the Sandakan Airport, was arrested on suspicion of helping Malaysian and Indonesian IS members to travel without any travel documents, to Philippines via Sabah," he said.


Another 36-year-old Filipino mechanic was also arrested in Sandakan on the same day. He has planned to travel to Syria to join IS.


The last arrest was made yesterday (Mar 12) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


The 36-year-old former Jetantut Hospital medical assistant, went to Turkey in October last year and was trying enter Syria with the help of Indonesian militant Abu Fateh from Sulawesi, but was caught by Turkish authorities on Jan 16 along with Indonesians militants.