Philippines deports alleged ISIS commander

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported an Egyptian man accused of being a commander and recruiter for terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS).

In a statement on Tuesday, October 16, the BI said 33-year-old Fehmi Lassoued was flown out of the country last October 6. He was brought to the Egyptian capital of Cairo and taken into government custody there.

Lassoued and his Filipina girlfriend were arrested in Manila last February.

The BI said police and soldiers also seized a gun, improvised explosives, an ISIS flag, and "maps with drawings of the group's probable operational plans."

But government prosecutors dismissed the complaint against Lassoued in March, citing insufficient evidence.

Lassoued continued to be detained even after the dismissal, for violating Philippine immigration laws.

The BI said he was "found guilty of misrepresentation for submitting false information in his application for a working visa, for using an altered Tunisian passport, and for being an undesirable alien due to his alleged terrorist links."

"He was likewise discovered to be using several aliases including Haytham/Haytam Abdulhamid Yusof, Haitam Abdel Hamid Ahmed Youssef, and Youssef Haitham Abdelhamid. Previous media reports also refer to him as John Rasheed Lassoned," added the BI.

The BI issued a deportation order against Lassoued last September 6, and placed him on the bureau's blacklist to prevent him from reentering the Philippines. – Rappler.com