Latest Stories

Moro rebels said to be harboring foreign terrorists

Ameril Umbra Kato, seated, the commander of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, is interviewed by the media inside his rebel stronghold in Maguindanao. The BIFF is said to be harboring Zulkifli bin Hir, a member of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. AP FILE PHOTO

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao—A Malaysian wanted by the US government for alleged involvement in bombings and other terror activities across Southeast Asia has been hiding with former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in this province, a senior Moro leader said Thursday.

Another source, meanwhile, said a member of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah was also hiding in the province.

Von Al Haq, MILF spokesman, said in a phone interview that Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, was with the armed group led by Ameril Umra Kato.

Kato, formerly with the MILF’s 105th Base Command, bolted the rebel group over serious disagreements with other leaders on the conduct of the peace negotiations with the government.

He founded the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, whose armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), has been involved in recent attacks on government forces in Maguindanao—including the Aug. 7 roadside bombing in Datu Piang town that wounded seven soldiers.

As for Marwan, Al Haq said he may have played a role in the Aug. 5 bombing in Cotabato City that killed eight people and wounded nearly 30 others.


Earlier, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia told a television interviewer that the Cotabato blast had similarities to previous attacks perpetrated by Marwan.

“That’s what we got on the ground. He’s hiding with BIFF members. We also got feedback from residents near BIFF camps,” he said.

Marwan has been monitored in the country since 2003 and was reported to be hiding among Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.

Last year, a military report said he had moved to central Mindanao, where the MILF operates. The MILF is currently wrapping up peace negotiations with the government after decades of a secessionist war.

Marwan has a $5-million bounty on his head, dead or alive, from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Meanwhile, a military source, who refused to be named because he was not authorized to release highly classified information to the media, said an Indonesian national was among those killed in a recent military offensive against the BIFF in Datu Piang.—Jeoffrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: foreign terrorists , Malaysia , Marwan , Moro Insurgency , Philippines , Zulkifli bin Hir

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace