Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief, said the seven foreign terrorists are “embedded” with local militants in Sulu, Maguindanao and Basilan, and involved in the training of local recruits on suicide bombing, among other terrorist acts.
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‘7 foreign militants operating with Sayyaf, BIFF’
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — At least seven foreign terrorists are operating with Abu Sayyaf bandits and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mindanao, according to a military official.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief, said the seven foreign terrorists are “embedded” with local militants in Sulu, Maguindanao and Basilan, and involved in the training of local recruits on suicide bombing, among other terrorist acts.

He refused to identify the terrorists as well as their nationalities.

The Abu Sayyaf is operating in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi while the BIFF is based in Central Mindanao and parts of Lanao.

Sobejana said various intelligence units are also validating and monitoring the  reported presence of 42 other foreign militants in Mindanao.

Security analyst and international studies professor Rommel Banlaoi had earlier said militants from Arab countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh are operating with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

Banlaoi said an Egyptian couple with links to the Islamic State (IS) is training Abu Sayyaf’s recruits as suicide bombers.

An anti-terror official confirmed that a number of foreign jihadists are being coddled by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.

The suicide attackers who bombed the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo in January have been identified as Indonesian couple Rullie Rian Zeke and Ulfa Handayani Salhe, the first suicide bombers in the Philippines.

Indonesian authorities said the couple and their three children joined the IS in March 2016.

ABU SAYYAF BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
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