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Cops rue flight of terror suspect
« on: April 04, 2008, 04:14:48 AM »
Cotabato City police maintained on Thursday they had a strong case against Egyptian professor Sheikh Mohammed al-Sayyid Ahmed Mussa whom they arrested late last year with bomb-making materials in a rented room in the city.

On Thursday, Mussa turned up in his native Cairo, Egypt, claiming he was mistreated by Filipino police and soldiers before his release on bail and eventual acquittal in court.

The 42-year-old maintained he was an envoy from Sunni Islam’s Al-Azhar University, The Associated Press reported.

Mussa was arrested on December 19 after police found bomb components in the room he was renting from a Filipino Islamic preacher in Cotabato City, following suspicions he had links to the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror groups.

Superintendent Dave Ombao, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they had evidence Mussa was planning to conduct bombings in Mindanao.

Investigators said they also found a booklet on the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the room.

Ombao expressed disappointment Mussa was able to leave the Philippines and fly back to Egypt.

“We have the evidence and our case is still there and it is strong. It’s really sad. We did our job but he was still able to leave the country,” Ombao said.

He said it was now up to the Department of Justice to request Mussa’s extradition.

Mussa was freed about a week after his arrest, upon posting the P200,000 bail. He was released to the custody of the Egyptian Embassy in Manila.

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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