Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa presents to the media Fehmi Lassoued, also known as John Rasheed Lassoned, allegedly a native of Egypt, along with a Filipino companion Anabel Moncera Salipada Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 at Camp Crame.
AP/Bullit Marquez
Philippines deports, blacklists suspected ISIS leader
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - October 16, 2018 - 6:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has deported an Egyptian national suspected to be a former commander of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria  terrorist group.

The Bureau of Immigration said in a statement on Tuesday that it deported Fehmi Lassoued, 33, on October 6. He was flown to Bangkok and then to Cairo, where Lassoued was taken into government custody.

Authorities nabbed Lassoued in February this year. Seized in his possession were .45-caliber gun, ammunition, an ISIS flag and several components of an improvised explosive device.

According to BI, the reports from the Philippine National Police said that “Lassoued was a recruiter for ISIS and was a former negotiator for ISIS for local government officials in Syria and Turkey. He is also believed to be an ISIS commander at the Syria-Turkey border."

The Department of Justice cleared him of the illegal possession of firearms rap due to insufficiency of evidence last March.

But Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that despite DOJ clearing Lassoued, the Immigration bureau “saw that Lassoued definitely violated Philippine immigration laws, which prompted us to assume jurisdiction over his case so he may be subjected to deportation proceedings.”

Lassoued gave false information on visa

Morente also said that Lassoued was found guilty of submitting false information when he applied for a working visa and used an altered Tunisian passport. He was also declared an undesirable alien due to his alleged terrorist links.

Lassoued was subsequently placed on the Immigration's blacklist that would bar him from re-entering the country.

The Immigration commissioner hailed the arrest and deportation of Lassoued as BI’s “a big accomplishment.”

“We have strengthened our Anti-Terrorist Group, which actively coordinates with local and foreign counterparts to ensure that we keep our country safe from these foreign counterparts to ensure that we keep our country safe from these foreign terrorists,” Morente added.

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