Authorities shot dead a Malaysian believed to be a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) after he tried to detonate a bomb in Davao City on Friday night, a police official said.
Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, Davao City Police director, identified the slain suspect as Mohammad Noor Fikrie bin Abdul Kahar, a native of Malaysia’s Kedah state.
Kahar was shot dead by members of the police’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in front of the Apo View Hotel around 10:30 p.m. after a brief chase, Dela Rosa said in a text message.
Earlier, around 7 p.m., police received an information that Kahar and his Filipina wife had checked in at the Sampaguita Hotel in Camus st. cor Quirino st., bringing an “IED (improvised explosive device) to be used for a terror attack in Davao City,” Dela Rosa said.He said this prompted him to alert the military and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), and ask the hotel management to eject the suspects from their room.
Kahar and his wife, later identified as Anabelle Nieva Lee, were checking out around 10:30 p.m. when they were approached by Dela Rosa and NICA agents at the hotel lobby.
Kahar raised his cellphone, telling the operatives that he will detonate a bomb if they arrest or shoot him, Dela Rosa said.
“Everybody scampered for safety while the suspects went out to the road embracing each other, with Kahar raising his cellphone as if warning the lawmen of an impending IED explosion,” he said.
Members of the SWAT were ordered to shoot down Kahar, but could not do it as the area was crowded with pedestrians and motorists, Dela Rosa said.Kahar suddenly grabbed his wife’s backpack and ran towards the People’s Park, but was cornered in front of the Apo View Hotel where he was shot.
Police and military explosives experts later found the bomb, which was made of a 60-millimeter mortar ammunition, inside the backpack and disarmed it using the “water disruptor” technique.
Kahar’s remains have been brought to a funeral parlor. Lee, a native of Sorsogon and a Muslim convert, is presently detained at the Davao City Police Office’s investigative and detective management branch.
Kahar’s death came barely a month after authorities shot dead an Indonesian also believed to be a JI member inside the Mindanao State University compound in Marawi City on Nov. 22. (John Roson)
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