The Indonesian Embassy in Manila was granted access by Philippine authorities to interview Muhammad Ilham Syaputra, an alleged Indonesian national and militant who was arrested in the southern city of Marawi for having links to Islamic State, an official said on Monday (06/11).
“The Indonesian Embassy received a consular notification on Friday from Philippine authorities related to the arrest of Ilham Syahputra,” said Arrmanatha Nasir, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Arrmanatha said the Indonesian deputy ambassador to the Philippines and the police attaché stationed in Manila interviewed Ilham on Friday.
“From the initial interview, the individual admitted that he is originally from Medan [North Sumatra],” he said, adding that Indonesian officials are still working to verify Ilham’s nationality.
Last week, CNN Philippines first reported on Ilham’s arrest, saying that he was suspected of being affiliated to pro-Islamic State militants who seized large swaths of Marawi in May.
In October, Philippine authorities declared that Marawi had been liberated from Islamist militants.
Indonesia initiated joint marine patrols with the Philippines and Malaysia in the aftermath of violence in Marawi to stem the flow of militants in and out of the region.