RP Authorities Detain Egyptian Preacher In SouthDecember 19, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 19, 2007) – Philippine security forces arrested an alleged Egyptian al-Qaeda operative after storming his apartment early Wednesday in Cotabato City in Mindanao island, south of Manila.
Government agents, backed by soldiers and policemen, swooped down on the apartment and arrested Mohammad Said whose aliases Mohamad Sayed and Abu Husein, are included in the so-called military’s terror list.
Recovered from his apartment were several improvised explosive devices, including a book with Arabic texts fitted with bomb from its hollowed pages.
Security agents also seized detonating cords, alarm clocks, batteries, 60mm mortar rocket, high-explosive ammunition, 3 pounds of chemical believed to be explosives, two kilos of ball bearings to be used as shrapnel for an IED, and a booklet of Moro Islamic Liberation Front combat manual.
Officials said the Egyptian is being interrogated on a security base in Cotabato City, where several Turkish and Middle Eastern nationals were arrested over the past five years.
Officials did not give details about the foreigner or whether he has connections with the MILF, the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group currently negotiating peace with Manila.
But a rebel spokesman Eid Kabalu denied any links with Said, whom he said is a preacher and a good man. “He has been living in Cotabato the past years and we hear nothing bad about him. He is preaching Islam and that is what we know of this man they now tag as terrorist,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.
Little is known about Said and officials declined to give any formal statement about his arrest or if he was planning to mount terror attacks. His arrest came several days later after the Filipino police said terrorists were planning attacks and that among those targeted are Westerners in the southern Philippines. (Mark Navales)