MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday confirmed that Malaysian terrorist Mahmud Ahmad is dead.
“The other, sabi nila si Doc--iyong tatlo. Tatlo iyan Hapilon, Omar, at iyong Doc. I think he's an Arab. He was taken this afternoon. And that completes the story,” Duterte said in a speech in Manila.
The president was referring to Malaysian professor-turned-militant Mahmud Ahmad, who reportedly served as a major financier of the Maute group and other Islamic State-inspired terrorists who laid siege to Marawi city.
Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla Jr. also confirmed that Ahmad is dead.
Earlier in the day, the military said it was confirming reports that Mahmud, based on accounts of rescued hostages, was among the 13 terrorists killed during a military assault on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Mahmud, who held a doctorate in religious studies and was a university lecturer in Kuala Lumpur, was the second-in-command of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, according to a July report by Indonesia-based Institute of Policy Analysis and Conflict.
Mahmud took over the terrorist assault in Marawi after state troops on Monday neutralized Hapilon, the anointed "emir" of ISIS in Southeast Asia, and Omarkhayam Maute, one of 2 Middle East-educated brothers at the helm of the militant alliance, Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año earlier said.