Malaysian counter-terrorism officers arrested seven suspected Islamic State (IS) supporters last week, six of them in the eastern state of Sabah, the nation’s top cop announced Monday.
The statement came one day after an Indonesian police official said nine militants captured Friday by the elite counter-terror squad Densus 88 were linked to IS through a new Middle East network.
The six arrests in the part of Malaysia closest to the southern Philippines followed four counter-terrorism arrests there in mid-January. Officials then said IS militants were planning to make Sabah a transit point for South and Southeast Asians seeking to join IS Philippines (ISP).
The seventh suspect, a former medical assistant at a local government hospital, was arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sunday after he was detained and deported by Turkish authorities, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said.
“Two of them are Malaysian citizens, three are Philippine citizens having Malaysian permanent residence (PR) status and two others are Philippines citizens,” he said, adding that all were being held under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012.
Indonesia: a new network
On Sunday, meanwhile, an Indonesian police official said nine militants captured Friday were linked to IS through a new network.
“They are a new group of a radical Middle East network affiliated with IS,” Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi told reporters at a press conference in Poso regency.
The nine were not linked to the Eastern Indonesian Mujahideen (MIT) as previously reported, he said.
Full story: BenarNews
Hata Wahari and Keisyah Aprilia
Kuala Lumpur and Palu, Indonesia
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