Philippines says suspect Islamist militant recruiter arrested

February 19, 2018 11:16
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

MANILA - Philippine security forces have arrested a foreigner suspected of recruiting domestic fighters for pro-Islamic State militant groups, including an alliance that occupied a southern city for five months last year, police said on Monday.

Director-General Ronald dela Rosa paraded before the media Fehmi Lassoued and his Filipino girlfriend, Anabel Salipada, three days after they were arrested in a rented apartment a few blocks away from the U.S. embassy in Manila, the capital.

"A thorough investigation is now underway to determine the extent of their involvement with international and domestic threat groups," dela Rosa said, adding that an undisclosed foreign intelligence ally gave details of Lassoued's identity and activities.

Police also displayed handguns, ammunition and components for making improvised explosive devices and an Islamic State black flag, which were confiscated from Lassoued and Salipada.

"Most likely, he is here with the intention to recruit ISIS sympathizers in Mindanao," dela Rosa said, using another acronym for Islamic State.

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