A Filipino, believed to have been involved in a series of military-style training exercises at a southern Philippine camp was among 11 individuals detained in Sabah and Singapore for suspected involvement with terrorist groups.
The 39-year-old man was picked up in Sandakan, Sabah, together with two locals and two Filipinos in an operation mounted by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) on Jan 25 and 26.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the man had taken an oath of allegiance in 2000 before a senior leader of a terrorist group in the southern Philippines.
"The suspect had also received instructions from a senior leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the southern Philippines to facilitate the entry of some IS terrorists from Sandakan into the country to join the terrorist group in Zamboanga, southern Philippines," he said in a statement today.
He said the other four suspects, aged between 33 and 50, were responsible for assisting the first suspect in despatching terrorists to the southern Philippines, making Sandakan a transit.
Meanwhile, Fuzi said three Filipino men and a local woman were detained in Penampang, Sabah on Feb 4.
He added the suspects, comprising a gardener, labourer, private company security officer and an unemployed were aged between 27 and 32.
According to the IGP, the 27-year-old man in the group was a right-hand man of a senior Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader based in Basilan, southern Philippines.
On Feb 6, an operation was launched in Sandakan, Sabah, which led to the arrest of a 49-year-old Filipino taxi driver man with a Malaysian permanent resident status.
Mohamad Fuzi said on Jan 18, a local lorry driver was detained by the Singaporean authorities for allegedly planning to join a terrorist group in Syria.
The 34-year-old man from Penang was later handed over to the Special Branch E8 in Johor Bharu, Johor, on Feb 2 for further investigations, he added.