- A suspected male Al-Qaeda member attempted to enter the country over the weekend
- BI authorities intercepted the alleged Al-Qaeda member and booked him on the next available flight to his point of origin
- A check on his passport revealed that the man is included in the Interpol’s database of suspected Al-Qaeda members
A suspected member of terrorist group Al-Qaeda attempted to enter the country, but was foiled by Bureau of Immigration (BI) authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1 last Saturday, February 11.
According to Inquirer, Muhammad Arif, a 43-year-old Pakistani, was blocked by airport authorities upon his arrival at NAIA terminal 1 on board a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok. An examination of his passport at the immigration counter revealed that he is included in the BI database of blacklisted aliens and suspected foreign terrorists and is in the Interpol database of “Al Qaeda Sanction List” of individuals.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Arif could not tell the places he wanted to visit and failed to explain why he is traveling alone.
“We were informed that his purpose in coming here was doubtful because he could not pinpoint the places that he wanted to visit. He also could not say why he was traveling alone,” Morente said.
“Our immigration officers had no choice but to exclude him for posing a threat to our national security and risk to public safety,” Morente added.
Arif was turned back and booked on the next available flight to the point of his origin.