Thursday, August 1, 2019

Suspected terrorist, deported in 2003, face deportation anew

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 1, 2019): Suspected terrorist, deported in 2003, face deportation anew

A Jordanian man tagged as a former henchman of Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, was arrested in Mindanao and will be deported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for illegally entering the country.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said
51-year-old Mahmoud Afif Abdeljalil is now in government custody following his arrest last month by joint operatives of the BI, military, and police in Zamboanga City.

Mahmoud Afif Abdeljalil (center) (Joel Nito/Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / FILE PHOTO)

“We are going to deport him for being an illegal entrant as he has no record of arrival after he was arrested and deported in 2003 for being an undesirable alien,” the BI chief said.

Morente stated that Abedeljalil assumed a fictitious name which enabled him to reside in the country.

It was learned that authorities started monitoring the Jordanian’s activities when he and his Algerian companion were flagged down at a military checkpoint in Zamboanga in August last year.

During questioning, Abdeljalil claimed that he returned to the country in 2007.

He admitted being arrested and deported by the BI in 2003 for involvement in clandestine terrorist activities as a Palestinian under the name Mahmood Afif.

When he was arrested 16 years ago, the BI said the Jordanian served as the point man of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a Saudi businessman and Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, in managing several charity organizations in Mindanao that funneled money to Al Qaeda and the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Three years after he was deported, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas froze Khalifa’s bank accounts to prevent funds from being laundered further to the said terrorist groups.

Authorities also alleged that even after Khalifa was killed in 2007, Abdeljalil continued to extend financial support to the Abu Sayyaf using as fronts several mosques and Madrasah schools that he built in Mindanao.

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