PH-based ISIS financial conduit arrested in Sulu

PH-based ISIS financial conduit arrested in Sulu
Photo from PNP

AUTHORITIES arrested on Thursday, February 15, 2024, a most wanted, internationally-recognized terrorist in an operation in Indanan, Sulu.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. announced in a press conference on Thursday, February 15, 2024, the arrest of Myrna Ajilul Mabanza, 32, during the service of an arrest warrant led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) together with the local police around 6:30 a.m. in Barangay Pasil, Indanan, Sulu.

Mabanza has a standing arrest warrant for violations of The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 and The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 issued by the Zamboanga Regional Trial Court in December 2023.

She was declared by the United States Defense as “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” along with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) founder Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and late Daulah Islamiyah-Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and emir of IS Philippine Isnilon Hapilon.

She is a widow of a Malaysian terrorist who was believed to have influenced her by ISIL ideology.

CIDG Director Major General Romeo Caramat said Mabanza facilitated the transfer of funds from international financiers to local terrorist leaders, including Hapilon, since 2016.

In April 2016, she also helped facilitate the travel of a Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) representative who traveled from Indonesia to the Philippines for a meeting with Hapilon.

The JAD representative traveled to the Philippines to purchase arms for ISIS-aligned forces in Indonesia and to set up training courses for pro-ISIS recruits from Indonesia with ISIS-Philippines.

Acorda said the arrest of Mabanza is a big blow to the local terrorist group considering that it will affect their cash flow, which is being used in deploying terrorist attacks.

“With regards to the effects on the operations most likely with the arrest of Myrna ang cash flow nila maaapektuhan yan definitely their operations will be affected,” he said. (TPM/SunStar Zamboanga/SunStar Philippines)


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