Philippines Detains Suspected Palestinian Militant

November 9, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 09, 2007) – Philippine authorities have arrested a Palestinian national on suspicion he has links with the Islamic resistance movement HAMAS.

Yussof Umar Animour was arrested in Tawi-Tawi province near the Malaysian state of Sabah in southern Philippines earlier this month, but had not been made public.

Local policemen escorted the Palestinian, accused of being a member of the HAMAS, an acronym for “Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia,” a radical Islamic fundamentalist organization operating primarily in the Gaza District.

“I am not a member of the HAMAS and I don’t even know who the leader of HAMAS is,” Animour, who was in handcuffed, said in Zamboanga City Airport before being whisked away by policemen.

The 41-year old Palestinian denied any links with terrorists. “They have just appeared in my house and invited me for questioning, but now…look at me,” he said.

A local news television broadcast Animour’s denial.

Security officials did not give any statement about the Palestinian’s arrest, but other sources said the foreigner had been interrogated for days before he was flown to Manila for further investigation.

Animour was reported to have married a Filipino Muslim in Tawi-Tawi and has left behind a family. It was unknown how many children he has, but reports said he has been illegally staying in the Philippines for more than 20 years.

HAMAS, formed in the late 1980 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel.

HAMAS activists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks—including large-scale suicide bombings—against Israeli civilian and military targets.

In the early 1990s, they also targeted suspected Palestinian collaborators and Fatah rivals. HAMAS increased its operational activity during 2002-2003 claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests.

The group has not targeted US interests—although some US citizens have been killed in HAMAS operations—and continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the territories, according to the Federation of American Scientist (FAS) Intelligence Resource Program. (Mindanao Examiner)

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