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International Intelligence Cooperation Nabs ISIS Suspects in Philippines | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Suspected ISIS member Rahaf Zina al-Dhafiri and Hussein al-Dhafiri are presented to reporters at the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, Philippines. (AP)

Kuwait – Philippine authorities revealed that intelligence cooperation with Kuwait has led to the arrest of a Kuwaiti and his wife on suspicion of belonging to the ISIS militant group.

The couple is also accused of manufacturing bombs and planning to stage terrorist attacks in Kuwait.

The US also played a part in providing intelligence that helped in arresting the suspects, identified as Hussein al-Dhafiri and Rahaf Zina.

Philippine authorities said Thursday that they had foiled a possible terror attack after arresting a Kuwaiti man and his Syrian wife.

Police nabbed the couple at an upscale district of Manila following a tip-off from the Kuwaiti authorities late last month, but the arrests were kept secret while Filipino authorities investigated further, officials said.

They were finally arrested on March 25.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre told reporters that he pair had entered the country repeatedly in recent months as part of plans for “a bombing operation” either in the Philippines or Kuwait.

Aguirre said al-Dhafiri, who operated under the name “Abou Musallem al-Kuwaiti”, was an active ISIS member in the Middle East and said US authorities believed he could “pose a threat to the national security of the Philippines”.

“He is alleged to have been involved in explosives manufacturing and possibly operational planning against Kuwait,” Aguirre added.

He said Zina and al-Dhafiri married after her husband, a high-ranking ISIS commander, was killed in Syria.

The Filipino official said al-Dhafiri would be deported to Kuwait while Zina would be sent back to Qatar from where she entered the Philippines.

“Both of them will be properly received by the security forces of those countries,” he added.