A suspected Islamic State operative who was linked to the foiled bombing of the United States Embassy in Manila in 2016 was killed in a military-police operation in Ormoc City on Thursday.
Army Capt. Salvacion Evangelista, Civil Military Operations head of the 8th Infantry Division, said Joseph Anulga, alias Dawud, was killed after he resisted arrest during a buy-bust operation in Sitio Lawis in Airport village in Ormoc City around 8 am.
He said Anulga was killed after closing a deal with a police poseur for a .45-caliber pistol in exchange for P12,000.
The police anti-narcotics agent was handing the money to Anulga, but Anulga drew his gun and fired at the poseur, hitting his bulletproof vest and sparking a shootout that led to Anulga’s death.
“Anulga was an Islamic Convert who has already pledged allegiance to Daesh and its recognized Calip Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi,” Evangelista said in a report.
“He was set to go on “Hirjrah," join the local terrorist groups at any camp in Mindanao and intended to die as martyr of Islam.”
Evangelista said the presence of Anulga in Ormoc City was traced by military and police intelligence operatives based on a tip-off.
He said Anulga was reported recruiting locals in Ormoc to convert to Islam.
He said Anulga was an associate of the late Yusuf Macuto who was involved in a foiled plot to bomb the US Embassy in November 2016 and the main suspect in the Hilongos bombing in December 2016.
Macuto was eventually killed during the battle to liberate Marawi City.
“Anulga’s death shows the government’s conviction in protecting the people from these lawless elements,” said Brigadier General Lope Dagoy, commander of the 802nd Brigade.
“This is a clear message that your AFP and PNP will not tolerate terror groups in our midst.” With Ronald O. Reyes