MANILA -- The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested a woman allegedly involved in the recruitment of foreigners into the country for terrorist activities and spreading radical Islamic extremism through the use of the internet and social media.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and NBI Director Dante Gierran on Wednesday presented Karen Aizha Hamidon, 36, to the media, who was arrested at her residence in Taguig City following a search operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation-Counter Terrorism Division on October 11.
Hamidon is now facing 14 counts for violation of Article 138 of the Revised Penal Code (inciting to rebellion or insurrection) in relation to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act of 2012) before the Department of Justice.
“Under the law to prove conspiracy you have to prove that there was an agreement to commit the crime of rebellion and rebellion was actually executed. But in this case, I believe although she was not fighting with the ISIS or Maute group in Marawi the action of the subject clearly denotes that she was in conspiracy with the rebels,” Aguirre said.
“So in my opinion she should be charged not only of inciting to rebellion but to the crime of rebellion itself. Because under the law, under the jurisprudence, even there is no proof of actual conspiracy the acts of the parties you would deduce , deduct that there was the same design, the same purpose that would be proof of the agreement and so I believe she is part and parcel of this rebellion happening still in Marawi city,” Aguirre explained.
For his part, Gierran said Hamido has been a person of interest to authorities since she gained international notoriety in the middle of 2016 when she successfully recruited several Indian nationals to come to the Philippines and join the radical Islamic extremist groups in Mindanao.
Gierran added that suspect is further of interest to the Philippine Government since she is the wife of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid alias “Tokboy” and Abu Sharifa, the former leader of the Ansar Khalifa Philippines (AKP), a group responsible in the September 2016 Davao City night market bombing in cooperation with the Maute Group, as well as the failed attempt to bomb the US Embassy in Manila last December 2016. Maguid was killed by the police in January 2017 in Saranggani.
“Hamidon is also under investigation by other foreign intelligence agencies for her possible links to international terrorist financing and her spreading radical Islamic propaganda,” Gierran added.
Hamidon posted on various public groups in social media application “Telegram” statements calling on Muslims to come to the Philippines and join the fight against the government forces in Marawi City in order to establish a province of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), NBI-CTD operatives effected the Search Warrant resulting in the arrest of the subject and the seizure of cellphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices being used for her illegal online activities. After forensic examinations on her cellphone, an additional 296 posts of the same message promoting rebellion in Marawi City were discovered.
In her social media application ”telegram” on the day she was arrested, she posted the following messages:
“The soldiers of Taghut are desperate to defeat the Muhajireen of the Islamic State of Marawi City…but Wallahi they won’t be successful. They won’t be able to defeat the force of Dawlah because Allah (Azza wa Jaal is on their side).
That is why the Dawlah is once again inviting all our ikhwaanil Muslimeen in all parts of the Philippines and around the world to support our Muhajireen of East Asia. Let us go to Marawi, in Mindanao to join the war against the Conquerors of the soldiers of Tawagheet.”
Rebellion charges will also be filed by the NBI against Hamidon in relation to her 296 social media posts supposedly calling on foreign and local Muslims to join the fight against government forces in Marawi. (PNA)