CAGAYAN DE ORO (2nd UPDATE) - Law enforcers arrested Thursday a suspected bomber of the Maute terrorist group in Cagayan de Oro.
Mohammad Noaim Maute, alias Abu Jadid, was arrested in Barangay Macasandig around 7:00 am, according to Philippine National Police Regional Office 10 spokesperson Supt. Lemuel Gonda.
He is said to be a relative of Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute, who led a siege in Marawi City in May.
Police said the suspected bomber used a fake student ID of Mindanao State University with the name Alfaiz P. Mamintal.
In a press briefing, Region 10 police director Chief Superintendent Agripino Javier confirmed that the younger Maute is a trained bomber.
"Siya ay trained bomber na pumunta dito. Hindi pa niya inaamin kung ano ang target niya pero we presume that he wants to create destruction in some areas in CDO," he said.
Javier said the suspect was able to get past police checkpoints by using fake IDs.
"Gumagamit sila ng mga fake ID. Siguro yun ang weakness kapag facial recognition. Pero hindi naman ito basta lang hinuli eh. Nagkaroon tayo ng verification," he said.
Maute is included in the arrest order issued by the Department of National Defense against over 100 suspected members, spies, and couriers of the Abu Sayyaf, Maute group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and Maguid group.
The police official said authorities did surveillance on the suspect for 3 days before the arrest after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen.
Javier said authorities are also on the hunt for a second bomb suspect in Cagayan de Oro.
"Hina hunting na natin ngayon. Yun ang fineed ng 103rd Brigade, na nandito na sa Cagayan de Oro," he said.
The suspect is now detained at Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro.
- with a report from Reuters