AFP probes Salic’s link to Maute militants
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is looking into the possible links of a Filipino doctor facing charges for a bombing plot in New York to Maute militants.
Maranao doctor Russel Langi Salic, who is under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), is the subject an extradition request by the US government. He has been charged for his alleged involvement in the plan to stage the attacks in the name of the Islamic State group during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 2016. He denied the allegations.
“We are monitoring and conducting our own inquiry on certain matters,” AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said when asked on the probable link of Salic to the Maute group and if the military is conducting a parallel probe.
Padilla declined to give details, citing security concerns, adding that the NBI remains the main investigation arm.
“Every information we have concerning this individual is with the NBI and I’ll leave it at that,” he said.
“In certain terror threats…there are certain information that cannot be revealed until after the investigation has been completed in order not to compromise the probe that may lead to connections of individuals or other groups,” Padilla said.
A month before the Maute group stormed Marawi, there were intelligence reports that Salic helped treat the wounded militants.
“Salic surrendered in April 2017. We have…shared our information based on or coming from allied intelligence...working with us on the potential connection of certain individuals in Lanao and Marawi,” Padilla said.