Australian jihadist supporter arrested in Philippines: Police

MANILA (AFP) - An Australian convert to Islam who publicly urged people via the Internet to join "jihad" in Iraq and Syria was arrested in the Philippines on Friday, local police said.

Robert Edward Cerantonio, 29, who also goes by the name Musa Cerantonio, was detained in the central Philippine city of Cebu and will be deported to Australia, national police chief Chief Superintendent Reuben Sindac told AFP.

"I can confirm his arrest," Sindac said.

A police intelligence officer involved in the operation said Cerantonio was arrested following a request by the Australian government.

"This person... has a website and he propagates extreme teachings and advocates jihad and calling on Muslim brothers to go to Syria and Iraq to fight together with the ISIS," said the official, who asked not to be named, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group.

"He is being deported as his passport was cancelled."

A national police report on Cerantonio's arrest said he had been living in a village near Cebu's airport.

A media officer at the Australian embassy declined to comment when asked about the arrest.

ISIL has waged a bloody armed campaign in Syria and recently made significant territorial gains across much of western Iraq.

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