FBI confirms DNA tested matches Hapilon

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that the DNA sample submitted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines matches that of Islamic State (IS) terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Saturday.

“We have received an official report that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that the DNA sample taken from a body recovered by our operating units in Marawi matches that of Isnilon Hapilon,” he said in a statement.

“This process of verification is also being conducted on the cadavers of the other terrorists that have been recovered so far,” the Defense chief added, referring to IS-linked Maute group founder Omarkhayam Maute and Dr. Mahmud Ahmad.

Hapilon and Maute were killed in a predawn assault on Monday.

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Lorenzana said a rescued hostage pinpointed the location of the two terror leaders.

Three days later, Ahmad, Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist, was confirmed dead by the military following an overnight operation.

Lorenzana said the FBI “might not be interested” in running tests on DNA taken from Omar Maute.

“Maybe they are not interested because they do not have a reward for Omar’s capture, only Hapilon,” Lorenzana told The Manila Times in a text message on Saturday.

“Their requirement is to ensure that the cadaver retrieved is to the terrorist they (FBI) only have rewards for,” he added.

Hapilon has a $5 million bounty on his head. Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año had said that the reward will be shared by two individuals.

The Philippine government offered a P10 million reward for Maute’s head.

Año and Lorenzana said the reward will not go to the government troops but will be handed to the civilians who told soldiers of the terrorists’ whereabouts. DEMPSEY REYES

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