Sunday, July 27, 2014

Syria, Iraq War: Australian Jihadist and Filipina Girlfriend Arrested in Cebu, Philippines

The Philippine islands of Cebu and nearby Mactan have a laid-back style. It's a vacation place to many Koreans, Europeans, Australians, and Americans.  The beaches are great and it's cheap to live there, plus there are a multitude of good looking girls --many of the young men who are there seem to be looking for girlfriends.

So, when I heard that a 29-year old Australian jihadist had been captured in Lapu-Lapu City (which is in Mactan Island, part of the province of Cebu), I was floored. It was the same fellow who had declared in social media that he had arrived Syria in response to the call by ISIS for Muslims worldwide to hurry to Iraq and Syria to man their "caliphate." Musa  Cerantonio or Robert Edward Cerantonio, had used the internet to urge people to join jihad in Iraq and Syria, and he apparently was good at it. One out of four foreign fighters in Syria reportedly followed his now-closed Twitter account.

It turned out Cerantonio had lied about being in Syria. For months, from February until July 2014, while he urged people to go sacrifice themselves, he had been in Cebu all along, with his 32-year old girlfriend, Joan Navarro Montayre, living in a one-room apartment near the airport. Montayre, it turned out, was wanted by police over an unrelated fraud case and was arrested.

Philippine police had been monitoring Cerantonio's movements since February when he arrived Cebu. He reportedly visited Mindanao where there is a large Muslim population.

On July 11, Musa Cerantonio was arrested by the Philippine police for overstaying in the country. The Australian police had informed the Philippine Bureau of Immigration that Cerantonio's passport had been cancelled on July 7. Philippine authorities charged him  for being undocumented and for being an undesirable alien, and he was deported to Australia.

The Australian authorities did not file charges against him because he had not broken any Australian law but said they would monitor him. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, "It seems that he is just a fraud, because he said he was fighting in Syria and Iraq when all the time he was holed up in a flat in the Philippines."

Photos courtesy of Police Regional Office 7's Video, Sunstar, PhilStar, and Wikipedia.

Read also
Muslims Condemn ISIS
Philippines Arrests Australian over ties to militant group ISIS
Australian jihadist Musa Cerantonio Arrested in Lapu-Lapu Cebu
Jihadist claimed he was in Syria while in Cebu
No Charges Filed against Aussie jihadist
Syrian Revolutionary Poem & Destruction of Khalid bin Walid Mosque
Syrian Revolutionary Poem #2 - They Wanted Freedom
Syria's Assad accused of boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals

tags: Syria, Iraq, war, Middle East, revolution, Assad, Cebu, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu, Philippines, ISIS, ISIL, Cerantonio, Australian, jihadist

This is all for now,

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