MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines plans to deport a Canadian national this week after he was reported to be “inciting and recruiting locals to conduct terrorist activities”, a top immigration official said on Wednesday.
The Philippines has been checking raw intelligence reports that about 100 Muslims in the predominantly Muslim south had left the country in response to the global calls of Islamist militants to fight for Iraq and Syria.
Siegfred Mison, head of the immigration bureau, said the Canadian, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, would be deported within the week after the bureau filed a complaint that he was an undesirable individual.
He said Philips was the second foreign national to be deported over alleged links with Islamist militants, after an Australian Islamic preacher caught last July in Cebu in the central Philippines.
“Based on various sources of information, he was supposed to be inciting and recruiting people to conduct terrorist activities,” Mison told reporters, but gave no details of the sources.
Police had begun questioning Philips in southern Davao City on Sunday, a few days after his arrival, he said, adding that the Canadian had been due to travel to the city of Zamboanga, also in the south, to give a lecture to Muslims there.
“He was also barred from entry into Germany and other European states for his activities,” Mison added. “Right now, he is in the custody of the police. He is blacklisted.”
The bureau’s blacklist is comprised of about 40,000 Filipinos and foreigners, including Islamic militants, fugitives and members of criminal gangs.
Police said Philips, a lecturer in Islamic and Arabic studies in Dubai, was also barred from entering the United States and Australia because his activities were considered a threat to national security.
Philippine immigration authorities have a hard time keeping out Islamist militants unless they receive information from intelligence agencies or other countries, Mison said.
Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Clarence Fernandez