By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced Wednesday the arrest of a suspected Pakistani suicide bomber and a member of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorist group.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Waqar Ahmad, 36, was nabbed in Zamboanga City last Tuesday by joint operatives from the bureau’s Mindanao Intelligence Task Group (MITG) and the Philippine National Police.
Morente said Ahmad, who is currently at the custody of the police, will undergo deportation proceedings for having a link with a terrorist group and for working in the country without a permit.
It was learned that Ahmad was arrested after several days of intensive surveillance operations at the appliance store of his Pakistani uncle in Zamboanga City where he worked as storekeeper and collector.
BI records revealed that Ahmad arrived on April 19 this year.
“He (Ahmad) will be deported as his presence here is inimical to national security. He also violated our immigration laws by working here without applying for an employment visa,” the BI chief said.
He added that the Pakistani “cannot set foot in the Philippines again” after he is deported as he will be placed in BI’s blacklist and banned from re-entering the country.
Morente cited international intelligence reports indicating Ahmad’s alleged links to the radical Islamist group Dawlah Islamiya, which has ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Maute group, both of which has been blamed for several bombing attacks in the South.
The same reports alleged that he was set to meet with a ranking leader of the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan carry out suicide bombings in the province.
Authorities suspected that Dawlah Islamiya was behind the bomb explosion that wounded 18 people at a restaurant in Insulan, Sultan Kudarat last April 4.