Wife of Omar Maute arrested in Iligan City
Published: 4:53 p.m., Nov. 5, 2017 | Updated: 9:04 p.m., Nov. 5, 2017
ILIGAN CITY – Police arrested the Indonesian wife of Omarkhayyam Maute in a raid at her rented house in Barangay Tubod here on Sunday morning.
Arrested was 36-year-old Minhati Midrais, alias Baby, who was included in the list under Arrest, Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) 1 issued by the Department of National Defense, according to Senior Supt. Leony Roy Ga, the chief of the Iligan City Police Station.
Omarkhayyam Maute was one of the leaders of Islamic State-inspired gunmen that fought a five-month war in Marawi City. He and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, were killed on Oct. 16.
Also taken into police custody were the couple’s six children – four girls aged 6, 7, 10, and 12 and two boys aged 9 months old and 2 years old.
Police recovered from the house four blasting caps, two detonating cords and a time fuse.
The suspect was holding an expired Indonesian passport.
Classmates in Egypt
Ga said initial investigation revealed Madrais arrived in the Philippines in 2012.
“Based on her passport, she went to the country thrice between 2012 and 2016. When it [passport] expired in 2016, extend-extend nalang siya,” Ga said.
According to Ga, Madrais is a teacher, although she did not mention what subject she is teaching.
She said she and Omarkhayyam were classmates in Egypt, Ga said.
“There are signs her children have been radicalized kasi kakaiba ang mga kilos. Palaging nagsa-sign ng ganyan,” Ga said, raising an index finger, a gesture used by the Islamic State.
Ga said if Madrais would be of great help in the war against terrorism if she would cooperate and give authorities complete information.
Her mobile phone is now a subject for forensic examination, according to Ga.
Seeking help from Indonesian Embassy
Madrais, who was presented to media late Sunday afternoon, said she would want a representative from the Indonesian Embassy to help her.
“Just because they get me I never see someone from embassy,” she said in broken English, adding that she did not feel safe.
“So please, from my embassy, save me and my children,” she said, adding that her children have dual citizenships.
Madrais said she was aware that her husband was already dead.
“Yes, I know. I see in internet. Sad,” she said.
She refused to comment when asked if she had contacted her husband during the war.
Renting house in Marawi
Jason (not his real name), a neighbor of Madrais, said he noticed the family moved at the height of the war in Marawi.
According to Jason, in the early days of their stay in the rented house, a woman in her 50s used to buy at the small sari-sari store in the neighborhood.
The woman has since been gone, Jason said, adding that the children had been doing the errand in buying food.
“But they speak a different language. Even our Maranao neighbors could not understand them,” he said.
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