2 suspected ISIS members nabbed in PH

MANILA (Updated) -- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented to the media a Kuwaiti national and his Syrian wife, both suspected members of international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who were arrested in Taguig City last month.

In a press conference Thursday, Aguirre announced the arrest of Kuwaiti national Husayn Al-Dhafiri alias Warsh Al-Kuwaiti and Abu Muslim Al-Kuwaiti and his Syrian wife, Rahaf Sina.

The two were arrested on March 25 by operatives of the BI's Fugitive Search Unit (FSU), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police on 28th St. in Bonifacio Global City.

Local authorities received a tip from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stating that Al-Dhafiri has terrorist links and is believed to pose a threat to the national security of the Philippines.

Intelligence reports provided by the AFP likewise stated that Al-Dhafiri is a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS.

The subject is also alleged to have been involved in bomb manufacturing while his wife, who was not a subject of an arrest order, is found to be the former wife of the second top commander of ISIS.

According to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, charges for violation of immigration laws will be filed against the suspects.

Morente said Al-Dhafiri was able to pass the immigration counter by using the name of one of the ISIS commander. He also used a working visa he obtained allegedly from recruitment firm called Kuwait solutions.

Following the couple's arrest they were brought to BI detention facility in Taguig City and were later transferred to the National Bureau of Immigration (NBI) Detention Facility for their commitment.

Morente said deportation proceedings are now being conducted against the suspects.

He said Al-Dhafiri will be escorted to Kuwait, as requested by the Kuwaiti government, while his wife will be brought to her last point of origin, Qatar.

Morente said both of them will be received by security forces.

Al-Dhafiri visited Cebu, Davao

According to Morente, Al-Dhafiri, who had been staying in the country since January had already visited the Philippines three times.

He further said sometime in January 2017, the terrorist had spent three days in Cebu and four days in Davao.

Morente said details on his recent travels are now being investigated.

Asked what are the measures being undertaken by authorities at both municipalities after the alleged bomb maker’s visit, Morente said: "They are validating this information and of course security precautions and measures are being undertaken."

Also being probed according to Morente are the subjects' alleged links to Maute group, a terrorist group in the country. (SunStar Philippines)
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