No proof five suspected IS members in Sabah are Filipinos: DFA
The Philippine government on Tuesday said there is no proof the five suspected IS members who were arrested in Sabah are Filipinos.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has asked for more information from the Royal Malaysian Police on the alleged link of the five arrested individuals with militants in Mindanao.
On Monday, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said they had arrested seven people, including five Filipinos, for suspected links to the Islamic State militant group.
“Based on initial information received from the Royal Malaysian Police, none of the five had Philippine passports or other identity documents in their possession,” Jose said.
The Embassy has asked for details on nationalities of five arrested individuals, he added.
Khalid, according to reports, said a Filipino suspect with permanent residency in Malaysia was detained on suspicion of raising funds and channeling them to Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee - two Malaysians who had joined with the Islamic State in Mindanao in the Philippines.
One Filipino was planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State, while another was found to have pledged allegiance to Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group based in southern Philippines, reports added. DMS