Alleged Maute-IS recruiter asks DOJ to dismiss charges

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2017 01:45 AM

Insisting she was arrested “illegally” and her residence searched “illegally,” alleged Maute-Islamic State recruiter Karen Aizha Hamidon called on the Department of Justice on Friday to dismiss criminal charges lodged by the National Bureau of Investigation. File/Noel Celis, AFP

Insisting she was arrested “illegally” and her residence searched “illegally,” alleged Maute-Islamic State recruiter Karen Aizha Hamidon urged the Department of Justice on Friday to dismiss criminal charges lodged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Hamidon was arrested on October 11 by NBI operatives after allegedly recruiting fellow Muslims via her social media sites to join the fight during the Marawi siege.

Hamidon claimed the operatives presented themselves initially as representatives of “Grab Express,” as she challenged the operation for being “instigated.” 

“They [were] looking for a confirmation code sent to my phone so they instructed me to get my phone and [show] it to them, thereafter, they arrested me, handcuffed me from behind and searched my unit," Hamidon said in a six-page counter-affidavit.

“They never showed to me a copy of the search warrant or warrant of arrest when they intruded into my private property. It was only after they were able to confiscate and took a photograph of the alleged evidence that they showed me a copy of the search warrant and read my Miranda rights.”

Hamidon said the NBI's tactic as narrated in the complaint — of using “undercover social media accounts and using them to communicate with her, pretending to be ISIS sympathizers in order to obtain valuable information from subject (Hamidon)” — showed “instigation" was used “to capture respondent and without criminal intent on the part of the respondent.”

“It was the confidential informant who made initial contact with respondent and gave several instructions… I vehemently deny the formal charges against me, ” the counter-affidavit read. 

Hamidon said her marriage to slain Ansarul Khilafah Philippines, aka “Maguid Group” leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid (aka “Tokboy” and “Abu Sharifa”), “made her life to be of special interest to arresting persons.”

Hamidon stressed she never rose against the government and took arms against it.

“She is only a weak woman with no means - physically, financially, emotionally, and psychologically… Never was it stated in any complaint affidavit or any other evidence that her purpose of doing such things is to remove allegiance from the government or its laws….” the counter-affidavit read. 

Hamidon also pointed out that “there was no evidence that the hearers or readers of her writings then and there agreed to rise up in arms for the purpose of obtaining the overthrow of the democratic government.”

An alleged audio recording of Hamidon pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was played during Friday’s hearing, where a voice, allegedly belonging to Hamidon, committed her "loyalty and obedience in adversity and comfort,” promising to "obey him (al-Baghdadi) on anything which my heart desires or not, and to value him more than anyone else.”

“I will not take any emir other than him unless if I see in him any obvious act of disbelief that i could be questioned by Allah in the Hereafter.” 

The NBI subjected Hamidon’s cellular phone to forensic examination to prove she posted the alleged recruitment messages.

The complaint has been submitted for resolution after the NBI’s decision to no longer file its reply to Hamidon’s counter-affidavit.