BI deports suspected ISIS commander
An Egyptian national, who is suspected to be a commander of international terrorist group ISIS, was deported for violating immigration laws, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Tuesday.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Fehmi Lassqued or Haythan Abdulhamid Yusof, 33, was deported last October 6 via a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok going to Cairo, Egypt where he was taken into government custody.
Lassqued was found to have submitted false information in his application for a working visa as he also used an altered Tunisian passport. The BI said he is an undesirable alien due to his suspected terrorist links.
Morente said Lassqued is now placed him in the BI blacklist to prevent him from re-entering the country.
Morente added that Lassqued’s arrest was a “big accomplishment” for the bureau, noting the improvement of their Anti-Terrorist Group.
“The arrest and subsequent deportation of Lassqued is definitely a big accomplishment of the Bureau. We have strengthened our Anti-Terrorist Group, which actively coordinates with local and foreign counterparts to ensure that we keep our country safe from these foreign terrorists,” he said in a statement.
Last February, Lassqued and his Filipino girlfriend were arrested after the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army allegedly seized a gun and several explosives, ISIS flag and maps, as well as drawings of the international terrorist group’s probable operational plans.
Reports from PNP showed that Lassqued was a recruiter and former negotiator for ISIS for local government officials in Syria and Turkey. He was also believed to be an ISIS commander at the Syria-Turkey border.
But the criminal complaint against Lassqued was dismissed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for lack of evidence.
Morente, nevertheless, reiterated that Lassqeud violated the country’s immigration laws, thus, a deportation proceeding was carried out against the alleged ISIS leader.
“Despite the dismissal of the criminal complaint, we saw that Lassqued definitely violated Philippine immigration laws, which prompted us to assume jurisdiction over his case so he may be subjected to deportation proceedings. As a result, he remained in detention until he was deported,” Morente said. /kga
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