COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 7 June) – Military authorities here announced Tuesday they have neutralized the alleged spokesperson of ISIS in East Asia during a joint operation Monday in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. identified the fatality as Abdulfatah Omar Alimuden, more known as “Abu Huzaifah.”
Huzaifah was killed during a special joint operation on Monday afternoon in Crossing Salbo, Barangay Poblacion, Datu Saudi Ampatuan.
Troops from the 601st Infantry Brigade, 40th Infantry Battalion, and intelligence units joined the operation.
“Aside from being the spokesperson of the ISIS-EA, Abu Huzaifah was also in-charge of the financial transactions of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines to the ISIS Central,” Rosario said.
The Westmincom chief commended the operating troops for their accomplishment and urged them to sustain the momentum.
But locals refuted the military’s account.
They said the alleged ISIS spokesperson, a fellow Maguindanaon known to them as Ustadz Abtulfattah Omar Abdulmaguid, 32, is a businessman residing in Barangay Bagan, Talayan, Maguindanao.
They said he was transporting materials for a construction of a Madrasa (Islamic school) when shot by still unidentified gunmen on board a vehicle.
He took Islamic studies in Jordan and was known to be an expert in Quran reading. He returned to the Philippines in 2018, got married, and sired two children.
His family and relatives have not issued yet a statement on the incident. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)