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Sunday, September 22, 2019

DOJ starts probe vs alleged Maute-ISIS recruiter

MANILA (Updated) -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday began its preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint filed against a woman accused of using social media to recruit foreign fighters for the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.

Karen Aizha Hamidon appeared at the hearing on the complaint for rebellion or inciting to rebellion in relation to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175) filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Counter Terrorism Division.

Hamidon south also faces allegations that she recruited Indian men to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Joshua Raymundo of the NBI said Friday that India has asked the Philippines to help investigate Hamidon, who allegedly worked to encourage several Indian militants last year to join the Islamic State group in the Middle East.

Raymundo said arrested Indian militants identified Hamidon as their recruiter.

After the hearing, Hamidon told reporters she never encouraged foreign Muslims to join the battle against government troops in Marawi.

“I strongly deny all the false accusations hurled against me,” Hamidon said.

She admitted to being the wife of the late Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, also known as Tokboy and Abu Sharifa, the former leader of the Ansar Khalifa Philippines, the group allegedly responsible for the deadly night market attack in Davao City in September 2016.

Hamidon also did not deny that she is the former wife of Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek, a Singaporean national who was detained for his links with the international terror group ISIS.

Hamidon will file her counter-affidavit on November 10.

Authorities arrested Hamidon, 32, last month for allegedly calling on Muslims to join a siege in Marawi city that was crushed by troops. (YJG/AP/SunStar Philippines)
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