KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian Islamic State (IS) militant, who was among three detained last month, was responsible for smuggling an Indonesian family of four, identified as the attackers of a church in Jolo, southern Philippines.
Sources said the 20-year-old suspect was a facilitator in smuggling Indonesian militants to southern Philippines by using Sabah as a transit point since October 2018.
“Authorities believe he had smuggled an Indonesian man, his wife and three children aged between 10 and 17, from Indonesia to southern Philippines.
“This family eventually launched a suicide bomb attack on a church in Jolo,” a source said yesterday.
It is believed that the suspect is also an expert in archery and he was also an active IS recruiter.
“Authorities discovered that the suspect is well-connected within the IS circle,” another source said.
The suspect was among three IS militants, including two who swore allegiance to an IS leader, that were detained by the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) after anti-terror raids in Selangor, Kedah and Sabah between May 17 and May 30.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador earlier said that the suspect was arrested in Keningau, Sabah, on May 26.
“He was a labourer and had performed the bai’ah (oath of allegiance) to IS supremo Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi.
“He also sent funds to Maute terrorists in southern Philippines and planned to head to Syria soon,” said Abdul Hamid.
Two others detained were two men – a Malaysian and a Bangladeshi.
The E8 was also looking for an Indonesian named Marwan, who escaped during the raid in Keningau on May 26. His last known address is at Kampung Keritan Laut in Keningau.
Anyone with information should contact E8 officer Insp Mohd Razizuan Mohd Razali at 017-327 8435 or any police station.
In a previous interview with The Star recently, the IGP said he was pleased with the E8 for their various successes in nabbing militants and thwarting various terror plots.
“I think E8 (Counter Terrorism Division) got excellent commanders and experienced men and women to handle this.
“I am satisfied with them. I only need them to keep up their vigilance.
“We cannot afford any lapses in our effort to monitor terror activities,” he added.
The country’s top cop said he has always encouraged E8 to move freely without any red tape.
“I want them to have a high mobility and to act fast. They have almost complete freedom, but they do report to me daily or weekly,” he said.