Mohammad Noor Fikrie a Malaysian Carrying Bomb Shot Dead In Philippines?

MANILA:  A man with alleged ties to Islamic militants was shot dead in the Philippines after he threatened to set off a backpack bomb in a stand-off with local police, an official said today.

A suspect identified by police as Mohammad Noor Fikrie of Malaysia was killed in the southern city of Davao after he threatened to blow up an explosive device in a rucksack, city police chief Ronald de la Rosa said.

“‘If you arrest or shoot me I have a bomb. I will explode it,’” de la Rosa quoted the suspect as telling police at the lobby of a hotel during a three-and-a-half-hour stand-off.

The authorities had raided the hotel after a tip-off that one of its guests was planning a “terror” attack in the city of 1.4 million people, de la Rosa said, without elaborating on the source of the information.

He said the Malaysian was a suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic militant group blamed for attacks in Southeast Asia including the Bali bombing in Indonesia in 2002 that claimed 202 lives.

“Take-down orders were given to SWAT snipers but (it) could not be implemented since the area was overcrowded,” de la Rosa told reporters by telephone.

While in the hotel lobby the suspect brandished a mobile phone, which, he said was the trigger for the explosives contained in the backpack that was being carried by his Filipina wife, de la Rosa said.

The man later took the rucksack from the woman and ran out of the hotel and into a nearby park, where he was shot and killed by police snipers, the police official added.

De la Rosa said police arrested the woman, Anabelle Nieva Lee, and disarmed an “improvised explosive device” that included a mortar shell retrieved from the backpack.

The authorities are investigating the woman’s possible involvement with Jemaah Islamiyah, de la Rosa said, adding that police believe she had converted to Islam when she married the Malaysian.

Philippine authorities said a small number of Jemaah Islamiyah militants have taken refuge with Filipino Muslim militants operating on the southern island of Mindanao.
-Reuters
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