PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa announced Monday, February 19, the arrest of a suspected member of terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and his Filipina partner in Ermita, Manila over the weekend.
Fehmi Lassoued, a native of Egypt, and his alleged partner, Anabel Moncera Salipada from Upi in Maguindanao, were arrested in their rented place in Room 409, Casa Blanca Apartment along M. Adriatico, Malate, Manila.
Dela Rosa said Lassoued entered the country with a fake Tunisian passport In July 2016.
Police allegedly recovered from the couple assorted firearms, ammunition and components for an improvised explosive device (IED) such as electronic circuits, resistors, capacitors, batteries, and pipe fittings.
Dela Rosa said Lassoued's arrest was a result of a successful joint PNP-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counter-terrorism operation based on information from their foreign counterparts.
"The arrest of Lassoued and Salipada may have effectively thwarted whatever hostile activities they were up to, but we will not lower our guard. Rather we will continue to mount proactive operations against terrorism," Dela Rosa said.
The PNP chief said a thorough investigation is underway to determine the extent of the couple's involvement in international and domestic terrorist groups. Authorities are also looking into Lassoued's possible involvement in the recently concluded Marawi seige.
“This inspiring result of the joint AFP-PNP operation is a testimony not only of the resolve of government to monitor, deter, and defeat terrorists and their infrastructure. It also a proof of what a robust intelligence sharing and collaboration can do to keep our nation and its people safe," said Dela Rosa.
“The AFP and the PNP continue to sound the call for the sustained vigilance, cooperation, and active involvement with your security forces to strengthen our defense posture against terrorists and criminal elements," he added. (SunStar Philippines)