Dawlah Islamiya chief killed in Marawi clash

Roel Pareño, John Unson - The Philippine Star
Dawlah Islamiya chief killed in Marawi clash
Pangalian was the leader of all Dawlah Islamiya groups in Mindanao and had links to the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
via The STAR / John Unson

MARAWI CITY , Philippines — The chief of local terror group Dawlah Islamiya (DI) and his deputy were killed in a 10-minute clash with a team of combined soldiers and policemen in a village here before dawn yesterday, according to military officials.

Killed in the initial operation was Faharudin Hadji Benito Satar, who also carried the names of Faharudin Pumbaya Pangalian and Fahar Pumbaya Pangalian, alias Abu Zacharia, the Islamic State (ISIS) emir for Southeast Asia and DI-Philippines leader, and Joharie Sandab, alias Morsid, the group’s sub-leader and emir for finance and logistics, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Roy Galido said.

Pangalian was killed after resisting arrest at his safe house in Barangay Bangon at around 1:30 a.m.

“Based on the report from the ground, Faharudin Hadji Benito Satar/Faharudin Pumbaya Pangalian/Fahar Pumbaya Pangalian, a.k.a. Abu Zacharia, emir of the Dawlah Islamiya-Philippines and overall emir of the Islamic State-East Asia, was successfully neutralized after resisting arrest during a joint law enforcement operation,” Galido said.

A soldier was also wounded when the counterterrorism and law enforcement operation swooped down on Pangalian’s hideout. The wounded soldier, whose name was withheld, was brought to the Marawi hospital for treatment.

Police forensic experts found grenades, improvised explosive devices and two M16A1 assault rifles in Pangalian’s hideout, where soldiers and police felled him with rifle shots for resisting arrest.

Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza said a raiding team from the 103rd Infantry “Haribon” Brigade was to serve Pangalian different warrants of arrest, but neutralized him instead when he resisted and provoked a gunfight.

Pangalian was wanted for more than 20 high-profile criminal cases pending in different courts.

Nobleza said the operation meant to peacefully arrest Pangalian in the Sarimanok area in the city that resulted in his death involved different military and police units including intelligence agents of the Army-led anti-terror Task Force Marawi under the Westmincom.

“We are thankful to the vigilant Marawi City residents who led the joint Army and police raiding team to the hideout of Abu Zacharia,” Galido said.

Pangalian was the leader of all DI groups in Mindanao and had links with the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Both groups have a reputation for fomenting hatred for non-Muslims and are together tagged in all the deadly bomb attacks in Mindanao since 2014.

“We are bracing for possible retaliation. We will never give his sympathizers a chance to do that,” Nobleza said. – Michael Punongbayan

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