Suspected Qaeda member’s entry into PH foiled
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has stopped an attempt by an alleged al Qaeda member to enter the country.
Immigration Chief Jaime Morente identified the suspected terrorist as 43-year-old Muhammad Arif, a Pakistani.
He was intercepted last Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 upon his arrival aboard a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok.
Morente said Arif is on the BI database of blacklisted aliens and suspected foreign terrorists. He was immediately turned back and booked on the first available flight to his port of origin.
“We were informed that his purpose in coming here was doubtful because he could not pinpoint the places that he wanted to visit. He also could not tell why he was traveling alone…Our immigration officers had no choice but to exclude him for posing a threat to our national security and risk to public safety,” said Morente.
Upon his arrival, Arif presented his passport at the immigration counter and registered a hit and showed that he is in the Interpol’s database of “Al Qaeda Sanction List” of individuals.
He was also on the blacklist order issued by then Immigration chief Ricardo David Jr. in Sept. 2011, also for being an alleged Al Qaeda member.
When interviewed by the immigration supervisor, Arif claimed he owns the Dawn pharmaceuticals store in Islamabad and is a distributor of Novartis Pharmaceutical Company.
He also said he was on vacation and will stay for four days at the Malayan Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
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