An Egyptian man believed to be a commander of the so-called Islamic State has been arrested in Ermita, Manila.
Police have today (Monday, February 19) filed charges against Fehmi Lassqued and his Filipina live-in partner Anabel Salipada for illegal possession of explosive devices and firearms.
The explosive devices seized from the couple during their arrest included four pipes, two batteries, three capacitors, two integrated circuits, three battery clips and 11 resistors. A .45-calibre pistol and ammunition was also recovered from them along with an Islamic State battle flag.
During the inquest proceeding, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said the two met their lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office and decided to execute a waiver to their arbitrary detention and proceed with the preliminary investigation.
Mr Ong set the preliminary investigation on February 28 for submission of counter affidavit of the respondents.
“They decided to execute a waiver and to submit their counter-affidavit next week Wednesday,” Mr Ong said.
Lassqued was presented to the public by PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa earlier in the day.
General Dela Rosa earlier said Lassqued was an Islamic State commander and recruiter for the international terrorist group who had entered the country in July 2016 using a forged Tunisian passport.
But Lassqued denied the allegations and said he was “forced to say” that he was a member of the terror group.
“The police put for me many weapons. I don’t know what it is and they say to me you just say this is yours and forced me to do that,” he said.
But he admitted that his passport was indeed fake but he clarified he has no plans or motive to do anything bad to the Philippines.
Lassqued has been staying in the Philippines since July 2016 and has been travelling in and out of the country using a fake Tunisian passport, despite the fact he is an Egyptian national.