Hussein Azo Al-Dhafiri and Raja Zina have been arrested in the Philippines.
PHOTO BY AIE BALAGTAS SEE
MANILA – A Middle Eastern man and woman believed to be members of the terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were arrested in the Philippines late last month and presented to the media on Thursday afternoon.
Arrested were Hussein Azo Al-Dhafiri alias Warsh Al-Kuwaiti, a Kuwait national; and Raja Zina, a Syrian. Zina is four or five months pregnant.
Al-Dhafiri is allegedly involved in making explosives “and possibly doing operational planning against Kuwait”, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, citing a military report.
Hussein is identified as an ISIS middle-level leader and a sibling of a deceased former ISIS leader while Zina’s father is a friend of Hussein’s brother.
Al-Dhafiri and Zina were apprehended last March 25 in Bonifacio Global City, a posh commercial and residential district of Taguig City in metropolitan Manila. They reportedly failed to present valid travel or immigration documents during verification.
Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla refused to give an official statement about the arrest. “I am not at liberty to announce at this moment, all I can tell you is that there was an inter-agency operation which was geared towards the protection of our nation against any threat from foreign terrorist organization,” Padilla said.
He also said the justice department was supposed to announce the apprehension of Al-Dhafiri and Zina.
At the Department of Justice, Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III presented Al-Dhafiri and Zina to the press.
“I congratulate our immigration officers for a job well done. The successful conduct of this apprehension speaks well of the competence and of the dedication of our immigration personnel,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre did not explain why Al-Dhafiri and Zina were presented only on Thursday.
Aguirre said that based on official communication given to the immigration bureau by the FBI, “Husayn Al-Dhafiri a.k.a. Warsh al-Kuwaiti a.k.a. Abu Muslim al-Kuwaiti, has links to terrorism and is believed to pose a threat to the national security of the Philippines.”
After the media presentation, Zina was brought to a hospital for immediate medical examination.
Al-Dhafiri and Zina are detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) office and will be charged with violating immigration laws.
They will be deported after the charges have been filed, Aguirre added. GAC/Expat Media
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