Col. Omar Tonsay, Navy spokesman, said the arrest of Abdul Aziz Usman, also known as Aziz Bin Othman, in Barangay Inawayan, Sta. Cruz town last May 9 came after almost a month of surveillance conducted by the Naval Intelligence and Security Group based in eastern Mindanao.
Immigration reports said 50-year-old Usman was suspected to be working as a finance officer for JI, which has links to the Abu Sayyaf.
Usman was turned over to the immigration bureau in Davao for custody and further questioning.
Tonsay said Usman failed to present legal documents of his stay in the country. He was arrested while he was about to marry a Filipina in Muslim rites at a mosque in Barangay Inawayan.
Prior to his arrest, Usman was reportedly monitored to be actively advocating the cause and teachings of bin Laden among local Muslims.
Arrested along with Usman was his aide Omar Abu, also believed to be a Malaysian national as he cannot speak Tagalog or any local dialect.
Tonsay said Usman was initially seen attending a local gathering in Sta. Cruz town in the first week of May.
The Navy said it was still conducting a background check to determine the true identity and affiliation of Usman.
– With Evelyn Macairan