Arrest of Filipina in terror case shocks community

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Updated 05 October 2015
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Arrest of Filipina in terror case shocks community

RIYADH: The arrest of a Filipino woman in a raid on an illegal explosives factory in the capital has sent shockwaves among the community, even as the country’s envoy is waiting for details surrounding the case.

Philippines Ambassador Ezzuddin Tago is seeking confirmation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the woman suspect’s identity and other details in the case, said a source from the embassy.
A rights group urged the embassy to take into cognizance that the Filipino suspect, identified as Lady Joy Aban Bali Nang, may have been forced into the act by the Syrian bomb maker, who shared the apartment with her. The Syrian was identified as Yasser Mohammed Shafiq Al-Barazi. Both were arrested during a major operation on Wednesday.
The Filipino had reportedly run away from her employer around 15 months ago under circumstances that are yet to be ascertained. She was reportedly involved in sewing explosives belts for the Syrian.
Speaking to Arab News, Rasol Abbas, Bangasamoro International Solidarity Conference (BISC) spokesman, said: “While we are among organizations working to unite and finalize support to the Kingdom in its fight against terrorism and other crimes, such actions are unacceptable.”
John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of rights group, Migrante-Middle East (M-ME), called upon the Philippine government to conduct an investigation into the alleged involvement of a runaway female to establish if she is indeed a Filipino.
He said, “It is possible that Joy may not be aware that the belts she was sewing were meant to carry explosives, especially if she was under the threat of the Syrian bomb maker.”
Another Riyadh-based community leader said: “We are renewing our advice and caution to all OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), legal or otherwise, in the Kingdom to strictly abide by the laws of the host country and avoid indulging in activities that are detrimental. We regard Saudi Arabia as our second home, and we should help foster peace and security in the Kingdom in our own little way.”
Riyadh-based community leader Saidy Malic there should be a public pronouncement denouncing this kind of incident. “It serves as a warning to all Filipinos working here to uphold moral values and reject any kind of violence or participation”.


Saudi Ministry of Hajj calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

Updated 26 min 24 sec ago
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Saudi Ministry of Hajj calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow their citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.