MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration barred a suspected member of the Al Qaeda terrorist group from entering the country over the weekend.
Muhammad Arif, a 43-year-old Pakistani, was intercepted last Saturday when he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1 on board a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed Tuesday.
Morente said Arif failed to pinpoint the places he wanted to visit and explain why he traveled alone, prompting airport officer to consider him a "threat to our national security and risk to public safety."
Arif's passport was then examined and he registered a hit on the Interpol's database of "Al Qaeda Sanction List."
BI records also showed that former Immigration chief Ricardo David Jr. in 2011 issued a blacklist order against the Pakistani for his alleged ties to Al Qaeda.
Arif, for his part, claimed that he was a distributor of a pharmaceutical firm and had planned to take a vacation in Pasig City.
BI nonetheless denied Arif entry to the country and booked him on the first available flight to his port of origin.
Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network allegedly gives seed money to the Abu Sayyaf, a loose network of militants blamed for the
worst terror attacks in the country.