KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian police said Monday, March 13, that they have arrested seven persons, including five Filipinos and one Malaysian immigration officer, who have connections to the Islamic State (IS).

The first Filipino suspect, who has permanent residence in Malaysia, was found to have provided funds for Malaysian fugitives "Dr. Mahmud Ahmad" and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, who joined the IS in Mindanao (southern Philippines) as recruiters for the terror group, said Khalid Abu Bakar, police inspector-general.

Two others are believed to have assisted the transit of three Indonesian IS bandits to Mindanao via the Malaysian state of Sabah, said Khalid.

The police believed the arrested Malaysian immigration officer helped arrange the travel for several terror suspects to Mindanao without valid documents.

The suspects were arrested in a series of counter-terrorism operations between Wednesday and Sunday in Sabah and Selangor, said Khalid.

It is not the first time the police uncovered links between Sabah and Mindanao, where the Philippine Government exert loose control over the Abu Sayyaf, a Jihadist rebel group.

The Malaysian police busted a four-member terror cell in Sabah in January, in which the police found the cell helped new recruits of IS-linked bandits from Malaysia, Indonesia, and ethnic Rohingya community in Bangladesh to transit via Sabah to Marawi City in Mindanao, Philippines. (PNA)