Five suspected ISIS militants return to Malaysia; three of them arrested

KUALA LUMPUR - Five suspected militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have returned to Malaysia and three of them have been arrested, it was reported.

The three included Mohamad Fauzi, also known as Abu Dayyan, New Straits Times (NST) reported. The newspaper described him as a "Tier One personality".

Prior to his return on Oct 27, he had been moving in Syria with another Malaysian known as Abu Naeem, who was described as a "commander of all operations" in a propaganda video by the ISIS, NST reported.

The whereabouts of the remaining returning militants is unclear, according to the report. Sources, however, said they were under police surveillance.

It is not known if Abu Naeem was among the three arrested or laying low for now somewhere in the country.

The suspects said during interrogation that they returned to Malaysia because they were not happy about fighting alongside different minority militant groups in Syria. The slightest disagreement between them could end up in a gunfight, said the report.

Citing police sources, NST said the number of Malaysian militants who were back home could be more, as many could have slipped through the screening of international law enforcement agencies.

"It is hard for police to ascertain how many of them have come back, when their going to Syria was not properly tracked," a source said.

According to official estimates, there are 39 Malaysians involved in militancy in Syria.