Tawau, Sandakan new transit point for Daesh militants heading to the Philippines, Myanmar

25 Apr 2019 / 19:47 H.

IPOH: The Daesh terrorist group has now made Tawau and Sandakan in Sabah the new transit points for militants to enter the Southern Philippines and Rakhine, Myanmar, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said today.

He said the group had increasingly turned to Southeast Asia as their new hub following heavy defeats to the allied forces in Iraq and Syria.

“We are always closely monitoring the issue, and from time to time, arresting those (militants) who want to enter the Southern Philippines.

“They are not only from among our citizens but also other nationals, for example from our neighbouring country Indonesia, as well as other countries around Southeast Asia,“ he said.

He was speaking at a press conference after attending the Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara award ceremony for the Perak State Contingent here, today.

Fauzi said this when asked about Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu’s statement that the defeat of Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria was not an end to their violence.

Mohamad Sabu said this was because Daesh-trained terrorists were spread all around the world and remained a threat to global peace and security.

Fuzi said the strength of the Daesh terrorist group was diminishing as the number of militants, which previously stood at 45,000 had now reduced to 35,000.

“This information is based on intelligence gathering and exchanges with fellow agencies across the country, so the issue here is they (Daesh) are currently looking at new sites, so for South-East Asia, the Southern Philippines as well as Rakhine, Myanmar are among their targets,“ he said.

Mohamad Fuzi said in Europe, the terrorist group was now focusing on Balkan countries like Bosnia.

“We are always monitoring the Daesh issue closely, not only at the domestic or regional levels, but also globally,“ he said, adding that there had been no recent arrests of Daesh militants in the country. — Bernama

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