THE Philippines has sent the DNA samples collected from the person tagged as international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, who goes by the alias Marwan, to the United States for confirmation, a source said Thursday.
Hair samples aside, human tissue samples were also sent to the US, the source said.
He said only upon confirmation from the US could the $5-million bounty be released to the informant who had the information on the exact location of the Jema’ah Islamiyah bomb expert.
The Palace has made no categorical confirmation yet that Marwan has indeed been killed. The most that Malacañang has said is that there is a high probability that the terrorist has been neutralized.
Meanwhile, a police official in North Cotabato said the two bombers who died in a premature explosion Tuesday in Pikit town were “graduate students” of Southeast Asian top terrorist and bomb-maker Malaysian national Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and his Filipino buddy, the Jemaah Islamiyah-trained Basit Usman.
“They were on a test mission when the improvised explosive device made of 60mm mortar round that one of them had been carrying in his knapsack exploded. They were new graduates of Marwan and Usman,” said Pikit chief of police Senior Inspector Sindatu Mundas Karim.
“We based our investigation and claim on the kind of explosive materials the two would have used in the foiled bombing mission in Pikit town,” Karim said.
Asrap Mohamad and Jhomar Palaguyan were on board a motorcycle when the bomb went off. The explosion also wounded a bystander.
“The kind of IED that exploded is a signature of the International terrorists Marwan and Usman.
“We have information the place these IEDs were manufactured was within the Liguasan Marsh,” Karim said.
He said Mohammad was a member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Philippine authorities earlier declared Marwan dead in 2012 in a US military-backed airstrike in Jolo.
Malaysia gave DNA samples collected from Marwan’s family, and in August 2014 the military admitted that the terrorist was still alive.
In an earlier interview, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said police commandos were unable to retrieve Marwan’s body but were able to take photos of his remains as well as DNA samples.
Moro National Liberation Front spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla, however, disputed the claim, saying Marwan was still alive.
Fontanilla said the Malaysian bomb expert was not in Mamasapano but in Lanao.