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Suspected JI Member Killed in Davao City

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A Malaysian national suspected to be a member of the international terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement authorities in Davao City on Friday evening, December 14, for allegedly carrying and threatening to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) in said city.

According to gathered reports, Senior Superintendent Ronaldo dela Rosa, Davao City police director, said their office got a tip from “very reliable sources” about an alleged JI member and his wife, who were checked in at a hotel, carrying a bomb.

The Malaysian suspect was identified as Mohd Noor Fikrie Eln Abd Kahar, and his Filipina wife was identified as Annabel Nieva Lee, said to be a Muslim convert who came from Sorsogon.

In its effort to prevent a possible bomb scare and to keep the situation under control, the Davao City Police coordinated with the hotel management to persuade the couple to check out of Room 204. The couple, however, refused to leave the room. Apparently, the visitor who came over to check on the couple might have given the hint about the police.

The hotel personnel called four times and warned the couple about police reinforcement should they fail to cooperate. After several minutes, the couple went out of the room along with a backpack allegedly carrying the bomb.

While the authorities immediately got hold of the wife, they weren’t able to catch the Malaysian national, who was quick enough to grab his cellphone, allegedly used as the triggering device for the bomb, and the backpack carrying the bomb. Panic has taken over the hotel when he said he will detonate the bomb as he raised his hand holding a cellphone.

The suspected terrorist was continuously threatening everyone that he will blow up the place using his cellphone as he tried to escape the hotel. Based on reports, the Malaysian national was able to get out of the hotel without any hostage. Then he headed to the People’s Park, which is close to the hotel. Then he later went to Toryano’s Restaurant nearby where he was said to have raised his cellphone again.

Earlier attempts to take down the suspect weren’t carried out because the place was crowded with motorists and pedestrians at the time, various sources said.

But he eventually got cornered by the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, and the sniper grabbed the chance to take him down with two gunshots on the chest. Police officers had to follow shots because he didn’t fall down at once after being shot by the sniper.

A 60mm round mortar was found in the backpack which was safely disarmed by bomb experts from the Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) using a water disruptor, according to reports.

The suspect’s wife remains in custody of the Davao police and is being investigated for her husband’s terrorist activities.

Meanwhile, the police are still investigating on the target and the motive behind the alleged bombing.