Philippine police detain Indonesian militant in Marawi

Suspect tells police he arrived in country to serve as intelligence officer for Abu Sayyaf group
Philippine police detain Indonesian militant in Marawi

Civilian security volunteers arrested Mohammad Ilham Syahputra, an Indonesian national who claimed to be a member of the Islamic State, in Marawi City on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine National Police)

November 2, 2017
An Indonesian national suspected of being a member of the so-called Islamic State group was arrested in Marawi in the southern Philippines on Nov. 1.

Members of a village peacekeeping team caught Mohammad Ilham Syahputra who admitted that he arrived in the Philippines in 2016 to serve as an "intelligence officer" for the terror group Abu Sayyaf, police said.

Abu Sayyaf fighters were among Islamic State-inspired gunmen who attacked and occupied Marawi on May 23, resulting in five-months of clashes that devastated the city.

Police investigators said Syahputra was able to escape from the main battle area through a tunnel a few days ago.

He sustained gunshot wounds to his stomach.

"The arrest of Syahputra is a big blow to our enemies," said John Guygoyan, police director of Lanao del Sur province.

Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman of the provincial crisis management office, lauded the role of civilians in the arrest of the Indonesian national.

"We must develop and strengthen the civilian security plan to inspire people’s initiative to compliment our state forces’ clearing operation," said Adiong.





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