Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents intercepted a suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member who was involved in the 2001 Lamitan siege, possibly holding an assumed identity, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) using a Malaysian passport.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the alleged ASG man as Omar Bin Harun, 52, who was intercepted at NAIA Terminal 2 after arriving via a Philippine Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur and presented a Malaysian passport that authorities suspect to have been fraudulently acquired.
“While his passport seems to be genuine, we believe he might have procured it through illegal means or by misrepresentation,” said Morente.
Intelligence sources revealed that Omar, a Filipino national, is reportedly a member of the ASG and was involved in the 2001 Lamitan Siege that took over a church and a hospital, and held priests, medical staff, and patients as their hostage.
BI-NAIA Anti-Terrorist Group (ATG) Chief Bienvenido Castillo III said that they received intelligence information about Omar’s arrival, and have coordinated with other law enforcement agencies to effect his arrest.
“Omar was also said to have links with the terrorist group ISIS. We were informed then that there was also a warrant for his arrest from the Philippine National Police Southern Police District,” he added.
Omar was turned over to the PNP. Morente thanked other law enforcement agencies for the cooperation which led to the successful arrest of Omar.
“Coordination amongst law enforcement agencies, both here and abroad, is necessary to curb terrorist activities that attempt to destroy the peace and order in our country. We will remain vigilant to ensure that these criminals are brought to justice,” he added