Police probe arrested Indonesian terrorist’s finances


AUTHORITIES are trying to determine whether the alleged Indonesian terrorist who was arrested in Marawi City was also a “financier” of the IS-inspired Maute group, a police official said on Thursday.

“We can’t determine yet if he is a financier. As we can see, the money found in him was not that huge,” Superintendent Vimelle Madrid, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy spokesman, said as Muhammad Ilham Syahputra, 22, was presented to the media in a briefing.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) took mugshots and documented the personal information of Syahputra after he was arrested on Wednesday night.

“He was arrested yesterday by joint elements of Marawi City Police Station and CIDG-ARMM of Lanao Del Sur,” Madrid said.

“He arrived yesterday evening, and for now he is undergoing the routinary police procedure for the arrested person,” Madrid said.

Madrid said Syahputra was caught in a clearing operation at Barangay Luksa Datu. He allegedly took part in the attacks of the Maute group during the Marawi siege.

The police confiscated from Syahputra a .45 caliber pistol, a backpack containing different currencies like “riya” and “dirham”, one pink tablet, bracelets, and fragmentation grenade.

After his profile was documented, Syahputra was taken to the Department Of Justice (DOJ) for the filing of charges against him.

Senior Supt. John Guyguyon, Lanao del Sur police director, said on Wednesday that Syahputra was invited by slain Islamic State leader Isnilon Hapilon to help the forces of the Maute group against the military.

Guyguyon said the Indonesian terrorist was part of the Piagapo encounter last April and was among those who plotted the bombing in Tamrin, Indonesia, officials said.

If proven that Syahputra was a financier of the Maute group, he would not be the first.

Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian terrorist, was a known financier of the Islamist extremist group. He was among those killed in offensives launched by security forces on October 18 and 19. RJ CARBONELL



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