Philippines to deport Canadian imam over terror links

MANILA — Reuters
Published Wednesday, Sep. 10 2014, 3:30 AM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Sep. 10 2014, 7:11 AM EDT

The Philippines is moving to deport a Canadian imam after he was reported to be “inciting and recruiting locals to conduct terrorist activities”, a top immigration official said on Wednesday.

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.


Police said Philips was also barred from entering the United States and Australia because his activities were considered a threat to national security.

Mr. Philips was in the news in 2011 after he used an appearance at a Toronto religous conference to repeat his view that homosexuals should be executed. According to the website he was born in Jamaica and raised in Toronto. Philippines officials gave his present residence as Dubai, although the website suggests he is still connected to a mosque and Muslim community centre in Toronto.

Police had begun questioning Philips in southern Davao City on Sunday, a few days after his arrival, Mison 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.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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.