News National Cerantonio ‘not a terrorist’

Cerantonio ‘not a terrorist’

Melbourne-born Muslim preacher Musa Cerantonio has spoken publicly of his support for Islamic State.
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A woman claiming to be the wife of an Australian Islamist preacher arrested in the Philippines says he was not involved in any terrorist activity.

Joan Montayre, 32, was arrested with Musa Cerantonio, 29, and is now in jail facing unrelated charges of swindling.

She says they got married last year and were living in the central Philippines until the arrest.

The woman has told authorities that her husband is a good person, but admits he has been uploading videos to the internet to spread Islamic teachings.

Mr Cerantonio is being detained in a large police camp in Manila, and it is expected that he will be deported to Australia once Philippine authorities clear him of any charges.

Mr Cerantonio was arrested on Friday in the central Philippines city of Lapu-Lapu and has been described as “an inspiration” to jihadists worldwide.

Philippines police say they want to know if Mr Cerantonio has recruited Filipino Muslims on social media sites to support rebels in Iraq and Syria.

They say there is no evidence linking the preacher to any act of terrorism.

Philippines police say Mr Cerantonio was arrested at the request of the Federal Government and that he is expected to be deported.

However, whether Mr Cerantonio has broken any Australian laws remains unclear.