Saturday, August 17, 2019

'Isis commander' deported

MANILA. Egyptian national Fehmi Lassoued (in orange shirt) was presented to media after his arrest in February 2018. (SunStar File)

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deported a suspected commander of the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (Isis) nearly eight months after he was arrested by authorities in Manila for allegedly recruiting Isis members.

READ: Suspected terrorist, Filipina partner arrested in Manila

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, Egyptian national Fehmi Lassoued, 33, was deported to Cairo, Egypt last October 6.

Lassoued was deported pursuant to a deportation order issued against him by the BI last September 6 for violation of the Philippine Immigration Act for submitting false information in his application for a working visa, for using an altered Tunisian passport, and for being an undesirable alien due to his alleged terrorist links.

The complaint against Lassoued and his Filipino girlfriend was filed before the BI last February upon their arrest after the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army allegedly found a gun, several improvised explosives, an Isis flag, and maps with drawings of the group’s operational plans.

Reports from the PNP said that Lassoued was a recruiter for Isis, and was a former negotiator for Isis for local government officials in Syria and Turkey.

He is also suspected to be an Isis commander at the Syria-Turkey border.

The prosecutors dismissed the criminal complaint against Lassoued in March due to insufficiency of evidence.

READ: Government drops charges against suspected ISIS member

“Despite the dismissal of the criminal complaint, we saw that Lassoued definitely violated Philippine immigration laws, which prompted us to assume jurisdiction over his case so he may be subjected to deportation proceedings. As a result, he remained in detention until he was deported,” Morente said.

“The arrest and subsequent deportation of Lassoued is definitely a big accomplishment of the bureau. We have strengthened our Anti-Terrorist Group, which actively coordinates with local and foreign counterparts to ensure that we keep our country safe from these foreign terrorists,” said Morente.

“Let this serve as a warning to other terrorists and criminals who plan on residing in the Philippines. You are not welcome in our country,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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