Philippines deports Canadian jihadist preacher

Dr Bilal Philips, Islam preacher from Canada. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
Dr Bilal Philips, Islam preacher from Canada. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

MANILA - The Philippines has deported a Canadian preacher trying to recruit Muslims for a "jihad" being waged by a brutal, extremist group seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Jamaican-born Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips "was deported to Canada (Saturday) night after the immigration bureau approved his request for voluntary deportation", the Bureau of Immigration's spokesman Elaine Tan told The Straits Times in a text message.

"He was charged for being an undesirable foreign national and for being inadmissible at the time of entry," said Ms Tan.

Philips was detained in Davao city last weekend while on a "lecture tour" in the southern island of Mindanao, home to the country's restive Islamic minority.

Security officials said Philips has been considered as "dangerous" in security advisories by several countries because of his ties with extremist groups.

He has been blacklisted in the United States, Britain, Australia and Kenya.

Philips was the second Islamic preacher to be deported by the Philippines this year.

Robert Edward Cerantonio was deported to Australia in July for urging Muslims in Mindanao to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Former president Fidel Ramos, who used to head the Philippine military as chief of staff, said last month some 200 Filipinos are now fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

rdancel@sph.com.sg