Zambo court convicts ASG female financial conduit of terror raps

By Benjamin Pulta

May 7, 2024, 9:00 pm

<p>DOJ facade <em>(File photo)</em></p>

DOJ facade (File photo)

MANILA – A Zamboanga court has convicted a woman who served as a financial conduit for the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Tuesday.

In a statement, the DOJ said the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 33 found Norkisa Omar Asnalul, also known as Norkisa Omar Ibno, guilty of three counts of violation of the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

The court sentenced her to 21 months imprisonment and PHP300,000 in fines.

Asnalul was convicted for her part in the transfer of funds from Myrna Ajijul Mabanza, the wife of ranking ASG leader Abu Anas aka Muhajirin.

Mabanza, 32, a designated global terrorist by the United States and is included in the United Nations Security Council Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Daesh and al-Qaeda Sanctions List, was arrested in Barangay Pasil, Indanan, Sulu last February.

Asnalul who was arrested last December is the wife of another ASG leader Ramji Asnalul aka Ramzie Ahaddin Asnaul.

The two women were involved in the transfer of funds with the leader of Islamic State East Asia, the late Isnilon Hapilon, and served as intermediaries between Hapilon and Daesh elements in Syria.

The group also helped facilitate the travel of a representative of a Daesh-linked terrorist group, the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), from Indonesia to the Philippines to purchase arms and to set up training courses for pro-Daesh Indonesian recruits with local terrorist groups on firearms use and basic bomb-making.

From March to June 2015, Asnalul in Basilan received three money transfers totaling PHP21,000 from Mabanza who was at Zamboanga del Sur to fund terrorist activities.

Asnalul also received two international remittances amounting to PHP50,000 on two occasions from a certain Rosdy Bin Benjamin from Sabah and Santra Husin Aman.

Justice Secretary Remulla, meanwhile, welcomed the court's ruling.

“The conviction of a member of the terrorist group more so, a financial facilitator, strengthens the government’s resolve not to give in to their unlawful demands.”

Remulla, likewise, recognized the panel of prosecutors who worked hard for this conviction.

“I congratulate you for a job well done. This serves as a big win against the ASG network,” he added. (PNA)