Malaysian police arrested seven Filipino men during anti-terror raids in Kuala Lumpur last week who were allegedly jihadist militants linked to the Abu Sayyaf group.
The counter-terrorism division took action on September 14 following an intelligence alert, arresting seven Filipino security guards aged from 22 to 38 who worked for private companies in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, The Straits Times reported.
National police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun revealed details on Thursday this week, saying those arrested were suspected militants with the Abu Sayyaf group and they had entered Malaysia via Sandakan, Sabah, as early as September 2015. They came to Kuala Lumpur using fake travel documents, he said.
Preliminary police inquiries suggested that they had not gained access to firearms, as they were only assigned to be guards standing watch at certain sites, and that work mainly sustained their livelihoods.
According to a report by Nanyang Siang Pau (Malaysia), a total of 19 terrorist suspects – eight locals plus 11 individuals from Bangladesh, Palestine, Indonesia, the Philippines, Maldives and Iraq – have been arrested in raids conducted in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan and Johor between July 4 and August 30 this year.