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Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the passenger, whose identity and other particulars he declined to divulge for security reasons, arrived at NAIA’s Terminal 1 last Feb. 5 from Singapore.

PASAY, Philippines--Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently barred from entering the country a Swedish national suspected of being a terrorist and his three companions. Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the passenger, whose identity and other particulars he declined to divulge for security reasons, arrived at NAIA’s Terminal 1 last Feb. 5 from Singapore. “The passenger was immediately excluded after the immigration officer saw that his name registered a positive hit as a suspected international terrorist,” Medina said. He added that three other foreign nationals, who were traveling with the alleged terrorist, were also turned back and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin. Medina said their database is linked to the Interpol database, which contains information about foreign nationals' alleged involvement in terrorist activities. He explained that under the immigration act, the Bureau of Immigration can refuse entry to any foreigner suspected of having links or association with a group that advocates the overthrow of duly constituted government. “He is just one of thousands of international terrorists whose names were included in the shared database containing information supplied by the various law enforcement and intelligence agencies here and abroad,” Medina said. It was learned that the suspected terrorist and his three companions were all of Iraqi descent, and were from Iraq’s Kurdistan region where for decades its inhabitants have been fighting for an independent Kurdish state. In the past, Iraqi Kurds in the region fought a bloody secessionist war against the Iraqi government then headed by the late strongman Saddam Hussein. A similar war has also raged in the Kurdish region of Syria where separatist rebels have recently come under attack from military forces of Turkey.

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