Philippine police arrest suspected Saudi IS recruiter

Philippine police arrest suspected Saudi IS recruiter
Police say the man has close links to Abu Turaife, a key IS militant in the Philippines.
1 min read
11 December, 2020
The Philippines has been battling militant groups in the country's south [Getty/ Archive]

Philippine security forces have arrested a Saudi national suspected of facilitating the entry of Islamic State group militants, police said on Wednesday.

Adel Sulaiman Alsuhibani, 47, was arrested along with his  wife, Norhaya Silongan Lumanggal, 36, in a raid on their home in Cotabato province.

“He is a Saudi-based ISIS-EA facilitator who claims to have access to Abu Turaife,” said Maj. Esmael Madin of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Madin added that Alsuhibani had “full access” to Turaife, the head of the IS-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Police said they found Alsuhibani’s Saudi identification card, travel documents, passports and a homemade bomb during the raid.

BIFF is a fringe militant group that split from the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) when the latter entered a peace agreement with the Philippines' government. The deal secured devolved powers for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in 2019.

Turaife, who pledged allegiance to IS, is thought to command a few dozen separatist rebels in the southern Mindanao region. He is viewed as a likely successor of slain regional IS chief Isnilon Hapilon - the Filipino IS chief who led a bloody takeover of Marawi city in 2017.

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