KOTA KINABALU: A woman officer from the Immigration Department attached with the Sandakan Airport was among seven people over their alleged links to DAESH terrorist activities during a special five-day operation, beginning March 8.
The 31-year old woman, according to a Bernama report quoting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, was picked up by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division.
Last Thursday, the local woman was nabbed over her suspected involvement in helping to smuggle individuals, including Daesh members from Indonesia, to the Philippines via Sabah.
Khalid said the suspects, aged between 18 and 53, comprised two Malaysians, three Filipinos with Malaysian permanent resident status and two Philippine nationals. They were picked up in an operation in Sabah and Selangor.
“A Philippine national, who was a member of the Daesh terrorist group, and a Filipino with Malaysian permanent resident status, aged between 18 and 27 were the first to be arrested in Kota Kinabalu on March 8,” he added in a statement on Monday.
Khalid said the Philippine national had made his ‘pledge of allegiance’ to Isnilon Hapilon, the Daesh group leader in Southern Philippines, while the Malaysian permanent resident was responsible for Malaysians Dr Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraime Awang Raimee to collect funds.
Both the latter had joined Daesh since 2014 in Southern Philippines, added the IGP.
According to Khalid, the detention of two Malaysian permanent resident Filipinos – a 53-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man – who had assisted in smuggling three Indonesian Daesh members to Southern Philippines via Sabah, were the second arrests on March 9.
“Also detained was a 36-year-old Filipino mechanic in Sandakan for planning to depart for Syria to join the Daesh group.
“On March 12, a Malaysian was detained at the KL International Airport (KLIA) intending to join the Daesh group with the help of Abu Fateh, who is a Daesh group member from the Celebes, Indonesia,” disclosed Khalid.
Prior to this, the man had been detained by the Turkish authorities with several Indonesian Daesh group members.
The seven were arrested on suspicion of committing offences under Chapter V1A – offences related to terrorism – of the Penal Code (Act 574) and will also be investigated following the procedure under the Security Offences Act (Special Measures) 2012 (Act 747).