Immigration agents have arrested in Zamboanga City a Pakistani who allegedly is a member of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorist group and suspected to be a suicide bomber.
Waqar Ahmad was arrested by joint operatives from the BI Mindanao Intelligence Task Group and the Philippine National Police in Zamboanga City.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered all military units to be on alert after suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists abducted 10 fishermen off the Malaysian side of Borneo and were taking them to their enclaves in Mindanao.
“We have directed our troops to be very vigilant while they are coming back to the [southern] Philippines,” Lorenzana said during the weekly breakfast forum at Cafe Adriatico in Malate, Manila, on Wednesday.
Lorenzana said the terrorists and their 10 hostages were reportedly headed toward Tawi-Tawi or Jolo.
Reports said the heavily-armed Abu Sayyaf terrorists snatched the 10 victims at gunpoint while six others managed to escape.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Ahmad will undergo deportation proceedings for being an undesirable alien due to his alleged terrorist links and for working in the country without a permit.
Ahmad was arrested after several days of surveillance conducted by members of the PNP Police Intelligence Group RIU 9 at the appliance store of his Pakistani uncle in Zamboanga City, where he worked as storekeeper and collector. BI records revealed that Ahmad arrived on April 19 this year.
“Ahmad will be deported as his presence here is inimical to national security. He also violated our immigration laws by working here without applying for an employment visa, Morente said.
Ahmad claimed he was working as a storekeeper and collector in his uncle appliance center in Zamboanga City.
“He did not even have the proper permit or visa to engage in work in the Philippines. We highly doubt his story, Morente said.
He cited international intelligence reports indicating Ahmad alleged links to the radical Islamist group Dawlah Islamiya, which allegedly has ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Maute group, both of which have been blamed for several bombing attacks in the South.
The same reports alleged that he was set to meet with a ranking leader of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan to plan and carry out suicide bombings in the province.
Government authorities suspect that Dawlah Islamiya was behind the bomb explosion that wounded 18 people in a restaurant in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, on April 4. With PNA