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FINED 2M DIRHAMS

Filipino in UAE gets 10 years for joining IS

/ 05:34 AM July 26, 2019

DUBAI—A Filipino man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail in the United Arab Emirates for being a member of the Islamic State (IS) jihadi group and promoting its ideology on social media, Emirati media reported on Thursday.

State news agency WAM said the defendant was a 35-year-old man and was also fined 2 million dirhams ($544,543) by the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal. He will be deported after serving his sentence.

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No technical skills

UAE newspapers The National and Gulf News said the man was a Filipino domestic worker. The National quoted his lawyer as telling the court that the man lacked the technical skills to operate the supposed social media accounts.

Reuters could not immediately reach the Philippine Embassy or the lawyer for comment.

The US-allied UAE last year passed a law to combat terrorism financing. In 2014, it passed an antiterrorism law.

Foreign terrorists in PH

In Manila, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday said security forces were tracking down seven foreign terrorists who had joined the Abu Sayyaf after slipping into the country in boats through small islands in Tawi-Tawi province.

The foreigners, whom Lorenzana described as Egyptian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian, have reportedly merged with the Abu Sayyaf factions led by Radulan Sahiron and Hajan Sawadjaan in Sulu province.

Names withheld

“We have the names of a couple but we are not going to give them out yet until we get the names of everybody. We are trying to identify where they are.  But initial reports say they are in the group of Sawadjaan in Jolo,” he told reporters.

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He said his department received but had yet to confirm reports that nearly 100 foreign terrorists, most of them from the Southeast Asian region, had infiltrated the country.

“The reports say they are in Central Mindanao but [try] hard as we may to find out where they are, we cannot find them. So we consider those as just information and it cannot be confirmed because we do not know if they are really there or not,” Lorenzana said.

There will be an “intensification of operation in Jolo one of these days,” he added. “We would like to finish, once and for all, the Abu Sayyaf and terrorism in Jolo.” —REPORTS FROM THE WIRES AND JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE

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TAGS: ilipino domestic worker, Islamic State, United Arab Emirates
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