CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Law enforcers are now looking for clues to possible links and financiers of terror groups operating in Mindanao after the arrest of five suspects, including the widow of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, known as Marwan in Lanao del Norte on Sunday.
“We are examining the various communication gadgets seized from the group, which might provide valuable information that could establish the link of various terror groups in Mindanao,” a police investigator said.
The arrest of the suspects is the result of sustained military and the police operations in response to an intelligence report that remnants of the terrorist Maute group that laid siege on Marawi last year are planning to regroup.
“There is also an information that the Maute-Islamic State terrorist group is planning to stage another terror attack elsewhere in the country,” a police officer said.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesman for the police regional command in Cagayan de Oro City, said a “high level of alert” remained in Northern Mindanao even after the fall of the terrorists in Marawi City.
Arrested on Sunday was Juromee Dongon alias Tata/Saynab/Zainab Janjalan, widow of the slain Marwan, leader of Malaysian JI (Jemaah Islamiyah) in Southeast Asia.
Marwan was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015 where 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and several armed rebels and civilians were among the casualties.
Dongon was arrested with Senior Police Officer 4 Andy Atta and his wife Lorilie Dongon-Atta, alias “Bebeth” and Aminah” in Tubod town. Lorilie is a sister of Juromee. A follow up operation in Baroy, Lanao Del Norte also resulted in the arrest of Romeo Dongon alias “Faisal,” and Norein Santos alias “Neneng.”
Seized from the suspects were handguns, ammunition, blasting caps, detonation cord, cellular phones, laptop, and tablet computers and gadgets.
The combined law enforcers from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the military, police, National Coordinating Intelligence Agency and the cybercrime groups were armed with search warrants when the raids were conducted.
The suspects were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives in the regional trial court in Lanao del Norte on Monday.