Indonesian linked to Maute nabbed in Lanao del Sur

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2017 04:10 PM | Updated as of Nov 01 2017 06:32 PM

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MANILA - An Indonesian national who claims to have fought alongside the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City was arrested by authorities in Lanao del Sur, Wednesday.

The Indonesian identified as Muhammadin Ilham Syaputra was arrested by police because he did not look like one of the locals and was seen with his clothes drenched after swimming across the Lanao Lake from Marawi City to nearby Barangay Loksadatu.

"When he was caught, basa 'yung ano niya (damit). He was carrying something in his bag. May baril, grenade, at pera na Philippine, Indonesian, at Malaysian (sa bag niya)," Senior Supt. John Guyguyon, acting chief of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office, said in a press conference.

Guyguyon said they have yet to determine the amount of cash confiscated from the terror suspect.

He said the suspect's cellphone will be sent to Manila to check its call and message logs.

"Isa lang siya sa mga leg workers. According to him, nag-iintel (siya). He has a bullet wound sa may side. He is claiming that he shot one of his Indonesian allies because he wants to escape Marawi," Guyguyon said.

Indonesian passports were also retrieved from the suspect.
 
Guyguyon said police are coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration to verify if the suspect and his other alleged Indonesian cohorts who sympathized with the Maute group entered the country via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Cases will be filed against the Indonesian national to prevent him from leaving the country, Guyguyon said.

Military officials said Syaputra is claiming that there are still dozens of Maute terrorists in Marawi City, but Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Romeo Brawner Jr. sees no need to reactivate combat operations in the war-torn city.

Government declared the end of hostilities in Marawi City on Oct. 23, exactly five months since firefights erupted between state troops and Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists.

Foreign terrorists were known to have fought alongside local extremists during the conflict.

At least 1,100 people, most of them terrorists, were killed and more than 200,000 Marawi City residents were displaced during the crisis. Government has begun planning the city's rehabilitation.