A Pakistani suspected of being a suicide bomber and a member of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorist group was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration.
Identified as Waqar Ahmad, 36, the Pakistani was nabbed last Tuesday by joint operatives from the BI’s Mindanao Intelligence Task Group (MITG) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
BI Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that Ahmad, who is currently at the custody of the police, will undergo deportation proceedings for being an undesirable alien due to his alleged terrorist links and for working in the country without a permit.
It was learned that Ahmad was arrested after several days of intensive surveillance conducted by members of the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group RIU 9 at the appliance store of his Pakistani uncle in Zamboanga City where he worked as storekeeper and collector. BI records reveal that Ahmad arrived on April 19 this year.
‘Ahmad will be deported as his presence here is inimical to national security. He also violated our immigration laws by working here without applying for an employment visa,’said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
He added that the said Pakistani cannot set foot in the Philippines again after he is deported as he will be placed in the BI’s blacklist and banned from re-entering the country.
According to Morente, Ahmad claimed that he was working as a store keeper and collector in his uncle’s appliance center in Zamboanga City but that he did not even have the proper permit or visa to engage in work in the Philippines.
Morente cited international intelligence reports indicating Ahmad’s alleged links to the radical Islamist group Dawlah Islamiya, which allegedly has ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Maute group, both of which have been blamed for several bombing attacks in the South.
The same reports alleged that he was set to meet with a ranking leader of the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan in order to plan and carry out suicide bombings in the province.
Authorities suspected that Dawlah Islamiya was behind the bomb explosion that wounded 18 people at a restaurant in Insulan, Sultan Kudarat last April 4.