Philippines arrests Indonesian for alleged link to Maute group

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian man, Muhammad Ilham Syahputra, 32, was arrested by the Philippines authority on Wednesday for his alleged link to Maute group, an affiliation of ISIS terror organization.

"He is one of the militants arrested by the Philippines. He is a member of Maute group, which launched terror attacks and attempted to take control of some parts of Marawi," a spokesman of the Indonesian Police Senior Commissioner Martinus Sitompul said here on Thursday.

Syahputra was arrested when the authorities combed Marawi region in South Philippines, Sitompul added.

Currently, Syahputra is still under detention and interrogated by the Philippines authority.

Security officers also seized grenades, a handgun, an Indonesian passport on behalf of KH, and some foreign currencies.

Sitompul disclosed that in April, the authority in the Philippines had suspected the involvement of an Indonesian in the conflict in Marawi, following the finding of a passport on behalf of Syahputra.

"(The Philippines military) has found a passport on behalf of Syahputra. But they did not find his body. First, they assumed that he was killed. Later, it had been confirmed that he was alive and was being detained," he remarked.

John Guyguyon, chief of police in Lanao del Sur, where Marawi is located, was quoted by local media as saying that Syahputra told investigators that he was from northern Sumatra in Indonesia and had came to the Philippines as early as November 2016 to take part in the planned Marawi siege.

Syahputra was reportedly among the dozens of foreign fighters from neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as from Arab countries, who came to Marawi to join the fight. The number of fighters, however, remains unclear.

In recent weeks, police also killed the suspected "financier" of the siege, Mahmud Ahmad, a doctor and a Malaysian national.

Source: ANTARA News

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