World Bulletin / News Desk
In a news conference at the National Bureau of Investigation in the capital Manila, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented the suspect, clothed in a burqa and identified as Karen Aizha Hamidon.
Hamidon is the widow of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, the former leader of Ansar Khalifa Philippines, the group allegedly responsible for the deadly Davao City night market attack in September 2016 as well as the foiled bombing of the U.S. embassy in Manila last year.
Maguid was killed in a police operation last January in southern Philippines’ Sarangani province.
She is also the former wife of Singaporean terror leader Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek, who is detained in his home country for alleged ties to Daesh.
Arrested at her residence in Taguig City on the strength of a warrant served by the National Bureau of Investigation-Counter Terrorism Division, Hamidon is now facing 14 counts of inciting rebellion or insurrection in relation under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, said a report by GMA News.
Recovered from Hamidon were cellular phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices being used for her alleged activities on social media outlets, inviting foreign fighters to come to the Philippines and join local militants in Marawi.
Hamidon succeeded in recruiting several Indian nationals, the news outlet quoted NBI Director Dante Gierran as saying.
The authorities also said the suspect posted a message asking local and foreign Muslims to aid Maute fighters in Marawi, a few days before terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed and President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration that the city had been liberated.
Aguirre said charges would also be filed against Hamidon for 296 social media posts found on her cellphone calling on Muslims to join the fight against government forces in Marawi.
“The actions of the subject clearly denote that she was conspiring [to commit rebellion],” said Aguirre.
Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana in June ordered the arrest of more than 300 individuals in connection with the siege laid by the Daesh-linked terrorists in Marawi.
Despite Duterte’s declaration of Marawi’s liberation on Tuesday, the military is still clearing the besieged city of an estimated 20 remaining fighters, including some foreigners.