International terrorist cell cracked



Combined forces of the Bureau of Immigration, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center and the Military Intelligence Group raided an apartment  in Iloilo City and arrested  three  suspected members  of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), a  Sikh extremist  group originating from India.

The operation caught members of the militant group who did not resist arrest in their apartment in an exclusive subdivision at dawn on March 7.

CICC Executive Director Alexander Ramos attributed the successful operation to the proper and speedy coordination among agencies involved which was harnessed as a result of the  establishment of the National Cybercrime Hub at the Bonifacio Global City  in Taguig.

The operation is in line with the standing order of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to go after domestic and foreign criminal elements.

“The President will not tolerate any foreign terrorist to set foot in the country,” Ramos said.

Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco identified the cell group as Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) a  Sikh extremist militant group originating from India.

The BI identified the suspects as Manpreet Singh, 23; Amritpal Singh, 24; and Arshdeep Singh, 26, all Indian nationals, were nabbed  in Iloilo City.

The  Indian government has declared Khalistan Tiger Force, as terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, UAPA.

The Union Home Ministry has classified the  Khalistan Tiger Force as  a militant outfit because  it aims at reviving terrorism in Punjab. The organisation is promoting various acts of terrorism, including targeted killings in Punjab.

Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force has been found involved in infiltration bids, narcotics and weapon smuggling and carrying out terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. It draws its cadres from various terrorist organisations, such as Lashker-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jehad-E-Islami.

The said terrorists slipped into the country using fake passports and authorities failed to immediately track them down. Experts from the CICC stumbled on their whereabouts  and alerted the BID and the AFP during a case conference held in the newly established National Cybercrime Hub.

The suspects are on the Interpol, Red Notice watchlist. They will face charges of murder, violation of Explosive Substances Act 2001 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 of India. The timely crackdown on the extremist group have prevented potential escalation of their activities in the country that may have cause loss of lives and millions in damages.

BI-FSU Acting Chief Rendel Ryan Sy said New Delhi authorities are also investigating the Indians for their alleged ties to the Khalistan Tiger Force, said to be an extremist group.

The suspects were airlifted back to Manila for interrogation and detention to identify who facilitated their entry into the country and are sheltering them.

“These wanted foreigners will be expelled for being undesirable aliens, and also for being undocumented as their passports were already cancelled by their respective governments,” Tansingco said.

Catherine R. Cueto

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