PHL asks Malaysia for info on five arrested 'Filipino' terror suspects
The Philippine government has asked "further information" from the Malaysian police regarding the five terror suspects — reportedly Filipinos — who were arrested is Sabah earlier this month.
Sources from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has requested further information from the Royal Malaysian Police on the alleged link of the five arrested individuals with militants in Mindanao.
But the DFA sources said there is no proof yet that the arrested individuals were Filipinos. They said the embassy has asked for details on the nationalities of the five arrested individuals.
The sources noted that based on initial information received from the Royal Malaysian Police, none of the five had Philippine passports or other identity documents in their possession.
Khalid said a Filipino suspect with permanent residency in Malaysia was detained on suspicion of raising funds and channelling them to Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, two Malaysians who had joined up with the Islamic State in Mindanao in the Philippines.
One Filipino 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, leader of the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group based in southern Philippines.
Last June, militants who claimed to be fighting for Islamic State said in a video they had chosen Hapilon to lead their Southeast Asian faction.
Two other Filipino suspects, a man and a woman, were arrested for smuggling three Islamic State members from Malaysia and Indonesia to the southern Philippines through Sabah, Khalid said. —KBK, GMA News