SECURITY forces shot dead a suspected foreign jihadist and his female companion after they resisted policemen and soldiers who were sent to arrest them in a coastal town of Sarangani province Saturday morning.
Central Mindanao police spokesperson Supt. Romeo Galgo said the slain jihadist was known only by his nom de guerre Abu Naila and his companion as Kadija and authorities believe he is one of the Indonesian or Malaysian fugitives linked with the terrorist Islamic State.
Galgo did not say how security forces learned of Abu Naila’s location but a joint task force composed of Special Action Force commandos and troops of the 4th Special Action Battalion and 27th Infantry Battalion were sent to Barangay Daliao in Maasim town to arrest them.
Abu Naila, however, refused to yield and even lobbed a grenade at the authorities, prompting the lawmen to fire at the suspect and his female companion, Galgo said, adding that bomb components and IS-related propaganda was also found at Abu Naila’s hideout.
Galgo said Abu Naila is believed to be a member of the Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines, whose leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, alias Tokboy, was also killed on Jan. 5 in an encounter with government troops at Angel Beach Resort in Kiamba town, also in Sarangani province.
Abu Naila was the first foreign terrorist killed this year by government forces in Mindanao after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an all-war against terrorists.
In November 2015, Indonesian national Ibrahim Alih, also known as Abdul Fatah, a Jemaah Islamiya operative in Mindanao under the protection of the AKP, was also killed with seven Filipino jihadists in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.
The slain Indonesian national was said to be involved on Oct. 12, 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia that left 202 people, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 20 other nationalities with 209 injured.
Fatah was a long-wanted terrorist along with two other JI operatives, the late Usman Basit and Zulkifli bin Hir, both killed in separate encounter with military and police forces in Central Mindanao.
On Aug. 13, 2014, the Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (Supporters/Helpers of the Caliphate) released a video showing its members pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
But AKP is not the only group that has pledged allegiance to the terrorist Daesh. The Katibat Ansar al Sharia, Katibat Marakah al Ansar and the Abu Sayyaf group have also separately pledged allegiance to IS.
In the annual New Year Command Conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police at Malacañang on Friday, Duterte has reiterated his commitment to crush the Abu Sayyaf group.
“The President reiterated his commitment to end the Abu Sayyaf Group,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.
Abella said President Duterte reiterated his firm stance against corruption, as well as his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and terrorism.
“He reiterated his guidance regarding corruption, especially because, as he says, corruption is not easily eradicated, and then the campaign against drugs and terrorism,” Abella said.
The Palace official said the joint command conference lasted two hours, describing it as a “substantial and a very fruitful meeting which puts the President in touch once more with this branch of government.”
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.