The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday confirmed that one of its most wanted terrorists, Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, is dead.
The bureau said DNA sample from a severed finger taken from a man killed during the January 25 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) operation showed a link with Marwan’s relative.
Marwan, an expert bomb maker and believed to be a member of Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), was one of the high-value targets of the SAF operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
In a statement, David Bowdich, assistant director in charge at the FBI Los Angeles Field office said Marwan is confirmed dead and the agency has now taken bin Hir off its Most Wanted Terrorist list.
“After a thorough review of forensic data and information obtained from our Philippine law enforcement partners, the FBI has assessed that terrorism subject, Zulkifli Abdhir … is deceased and has been removed from the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists,” Bowdich said in a statement.
Following the FBI’s confirmation, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, officer in charge of the PNP on Sunday said the controversial Mamasapano operation is “mission accomplished.”
“On their behalf, as OIC of the PNP, I declare that Marwan is dead. Mission Accomplished,” Espina said.
“These conclusive findings effectively dismissed any and all doubts about the death of one of Asia’s most wanted and dangerous terrorists,” he added.
Espina also paid tribute to the 44 members of the PNP-SAF who died in the operation. “Based on this new evidence provided by modern science, there is no doubt that the PNP-SAF indeed got their man, as they always do. This fact should add to the glory and honor of the 44 brave young men who offered the supreme sacrifice to get the job done,” he said.
The Mamasapano operation resulted to the death of 67 people, including 44 SAF officers, 18 MILF members, and five civilians.