Authorities in the Philippines shot and killed a Malaysian man believed to be a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah after he tried to detonate a bomb in Davao City yesterday, a police official said.
Ronald Dela Rosa, Davao City Police director, identified the slain suspect as Mohammad Noor Fikrie bin Abdul Kahar, a native of Malaysia’s Kedah state. Kahar was shot dead by members of the police’s Special Weapons and Tactics team in front of the Apo View Hotel around 10:30 p.m. after a brief chase, Dela Rosa said in a text message.
Around 7 p.m. last night, police received information that Kahar and his Filipina wife had checked in at the Sampaguita Hotel , bringing an “improvised explosive device to be used for a terror attack in Davao City,” Dela Rosa said.
The military and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, were alerted, and the hotel asked the suspects to leave their room, Dela Rosa said. Kahar and his wife, later identified as Anabelle Nieva Lee, were checking out around 10:30 p.m. when they were approached by members of the intelligence agency and Dela Rosa at the hotel lobby.
Kahar raised his cellphone, telling the operatives that he would detonate a bomb if they tried to arrest or shoot him, Dela Rosa said.
“Everybody scampered for safety while the suspects went out on the road, embracing each other, with Kahar raising his cellphone as if warning the lawmen of an impending explosion,” Dela Rosa said.
Members of the SWAT team, ordered to shoot Kahar, couldn’t do it because the area was crowded with pedestrians and motorists, Dela Rosa said. Kahar eventually grabbed his wife’s backpack and ran towards the People’s Park, but was eventually cornered in front of the Apo View Hotel, where he was shot.
Police and military explosives experts later found the bomb, which was made of a 60-millimeter mortar ammunition, inside the backpack and disarmed it using the “water disruptor” technique.
Lee, a native of Sorsogon and a Muslim convert, is presently detained at the Davao City Police Office’s investigative and detective management branch.
Kahar’s death came a month after authorities shot dead an Indonesian also believed to be a Jemaah Islamiyah member inside the Mindanao State University in Marawi City on Nov. 22.