MANILA: A Kenyan national believed to be a member of the militant group Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, has been arrested in the Philippines.
Police Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus, director of the Philippines National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, announced the arrest of Cholo Abdi Abdullah, 28, in Iba, Zambales province, 142 miles northwest of the capital Manila on Tuesday.
Abdullah, a student from Nairobi at the All Asia Aviation Academy, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. on July 1 in his room at the Rasaca Hotel.
Corpus said he had been studying “different aviation threats, aircraft hijacking, and falsifying travel documents.” He had been in the Philippines since 2017.
“This was ... an urgent operation considering that he was very dangerous. That’s why (joint government elements) worked overtime monitoring him, and in the application of a search warrant which was approved by a Bataan regional trial court judge,” said Corpus.
A team comprising multiple departments of the nation’s security services worked on the arrest, and recovered a firearm, hand grenades and bomb making components from the hotel room.
Corpus said investigations revealed that Abdullah was allegedly a member of Al-Shabaab, an insurgent group based in Somalia. In 2012, the group aligned itself with Al-Qaeda, but, in 2015, one of its leaders along with his followers pledged allegiance to Daesh.
Asked about Abdullah’s activities and possible involvement in terrorism, Corpus said: “So far we have not yet monitored any plans of this suspect.”