Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Petronas Towers

Malaysian Police Uncover, Disrupt ‘New IS Cell’

Malaysian police said Monday they exposed a new Islamic State (IS) extremist cell that planned to use the eastern state of Sabah as a transit point for sending IS members to the Philippines.

The nation’s police chief, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said officers from his department discovered the cell after arresting four people – a Filipino man, two Bangladeshi men and a Malaysian woman – during counter-terror raids in Sabah and Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 13 and 19. All of the suspects are being held under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012.

The cell received orders from a former lecturer at Malaya University who allegedly became a militant in the southern Philippines, Mahmud Ahmad, and Isnilon Hapilon, a former leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group who leads IS Philippines, the Islamic State’s affiliate in that country, Khalid said in a statement.

“With these arrests, the special branch crippled a new Daesh terror cell that planned to make Sabah a transit point for terrorists from Southeast Asia and South Asia to infiltrate into Philippines to join a terrorist group under the leadership of Mahmud and Isnilon,” he said, using another term for IS.

“Aside from Mahmud, two more Malaysians, Darul Islam Sabah member Amin Bacho and Joraimee Awang joined the cell which has a base in Marawi City, Mindanao,” Khalid said in a press statement that did not include the names of the four suspects arrested since Jan. 13.

Isnilon leads al Harakat ul Islamiyah Basilan, one of three southern Philippine militant groups that have pledged allegiance to IS and make up IS Philippines, according to Rohan Gunaratna, a BenarNews contributor who directs the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

Mahmud, a former lecturer in the university’s Islamic Studies faculty, joined IS militants in Southern Philippines in January 2014, The Malay Mail Online reported.

Full story: BenarNews

Hata Wahari
Kuala Lumpur

Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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