A report on Malaysia’s The Star Online on Sunday said the five militants are believed to have ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) as well.
It cited intelligence sources who said the militants could be hiding out with the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo.
It added they may be associated with the Daulah Islamiyah Asia Tenggara (South-East Asia Islamiyah Network), which has links to Isil.
Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Saturday was quoted in the report as saying Malaysia was working closely with the Philippine government in the hunt for the militants.
He said the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division is now working with its Philippine counterparts.
“We are coordinating our intelligence with the Philippines counter-terrorism unit and Interpol,” he told The Star Online.
Ahmad Zahid said the Special Branch’s priority was to get the terrorists directly involved in recruiting and sending Malaysians to fight in Syria and Iraq.
“Those carrying out kidnappings in Sabah are also in our radar. Security is also being tightened at all major entry points in the country to prevent terrorists or pirates from entering our borders,” he added.
The report also noted the five could also be enjoying protection from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that recently signed a peace pact with the Philippine government.
Being tracked down are:
– Universiti Malaya lecturer Dr Mahmud Ahmad
– stationery shopowner Mohd Najib Husen
– former Selayang Municipal Council employee Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, 39
– Darul Islam Sabah members Mohd Amin Baco, 31
– Jeknal Adil, 30
Also, the report quoted its sources as saying the militants could be in contact with Zulkifli Abdul Khir a.k.a. Marwan, the region’s most wanted terrorist.
Zulkifli was last known to be hiding out with the BIFF in Mindanao, the report added. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News