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FBI, PH coordinating on alleged terror plot

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Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine embassy in Washington on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) said that its officials asked for additional information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the filing of a criminal complaint in California against a Filipino-American and three others for allegedly planning to mount terrorist attacks.

In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the United States (US) Jose Cuisia said that the embassy was in touch with the FBI, which took custody of 23-year old Ralph Kenneth De Leon, a US permanent resident born in the Philippines.

De Leon, and three other suspects — reported ringleader 34-year-old American Sohiel Omar Kabir, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali –  were all charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

The foiled plans reportedly involved killing Americans and bombing US military bases overseas, including the Philippines.

Cuisia, in his statement, noted that it was the embassy’s Police Attache, Chief Superintendent Armand Ramolete who asked for additional information from the FBI.

The statement also quoted Consul General Helen Barber-Dela Vega of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles as saying that they were informed by the FBI on Monday about the arrest of De Leon.

She was quoted as saying that  Consul Charmaine Chua was scheduled to be granted access to De Leon later Wednesday (Thursday in Manila)  at a detention facility in San Bernardino County.


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