An Australian with suspected links to Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq has been deported from the Philippines after he was arrested for violating immigration laws.
Robert Edward “Musa” Cerantonio, 29, was arrested on July 11 in the central province of Cebu and charged with being an undocumented foreigner after Australian authorities cancelled his passport on July 7.
Bureau of Immigration chief Siegried Mison on Tuesday confirmed Cerantonio was accompanied by four escorts on a Philippine Airlines flight to Melbourne.
Mison had said earlier Cerantonio’s activities “pose a risk to public interest”.
Philippine police described Cerantonio as a “jihadist preacher” who has been using social media websites to call for jihad and encourage Filipino Muslims to support the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Cerantonio is believed to have travelled to the southern Philippine provinces of Basilan and Sulu, a known hot bed of Filipino Muslim extremists and local terrorist groups with links to al-Qaeda.