7 foreigners link up with Abus, says Westmincom chief
MANILA, Philippines — Seven foreign terrorists have joined forces with local terrorist groups, the chief of the military command in Western Mindanao confirmed on Tuesday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said that 42 other foreigners in his area had been “watch listed,” and their movements were being monitored.
He pointed out that the seven foreign terrorists had spread out among the Abu Sayyaf group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Sulu, Maguindanao and Basilan.
According to Sobejana, the seven foreign terrorists, whose nationalities are still being validated, have been training local terrorist groups on bombmaking and grooming potential suicide bombers.
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed on Tuesday receiving a report identifying the Indonesian couple who carried out the Jan. 27 suicide bombing at the Jolo cathedral, which killed at least 20 people and wounded scores of others.
He said the report from Indonesia identified the couple as Rullie Rian Zeke and his wife Ulfah Handayani Saleh.
According to the report, the couple left Indonesia with their three children for Turkey to join the Islamic State (IS) some time in March 2016. They were arrested and deported in January 2017. The information reportedly came from suspected IS fighter Yoga Febrianto who was arrested in Malaysia on May 26.
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