“DNA matched.” That’s the simple message the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supposedly sent to Philippine authorities confirming that it was really the Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan who was killed by the Special Action Force (SAF) team sent to arrest him in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.
A source from the Philippine National Police said the FBI tested Marwan’s DNA sample which was taken from his right hand’s index finger and was matched against the DNA sample earlier taken by the US government from Marwan’s brother Rahmat Abdhir who is under detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for terrorism-related charges. Marwan’s DNA profile matched that of his brother’s, the FBI confirmed.
According to a report by Interaksyon, lab test matches using DNA samples from first-degree relatives such as parents, children or siblings are accorded a high-degree of reliability.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said last week the $6 million bounty on Marwan’s head being offered by the US government will go to the informant if the Malaysian master bomb maker was confirmed dead.
Earlier, suspended SAF commander Police Director Getulio Napeñas clarified the operation was not motivated by the hefty bounty on Marwan’s head saying the operation was SAF’s inherent duty as law enforcers.
“No government troops, police or military, will get that reward. That reward is for civilians who would provide intelligence information that would lead to the capture or killing of Marwan. What we did is part of our inherent job as law enforcers. We don’t stand to benefit from that reward,” he clarified.
According to a source from SAF, the other target of the SAF operation dubbed “Operation Wolverine,” Abdul Basit Usman, the Filipino protegé of Marwan who has a $1 million bounty on his head, was able to escape with his bodyguards and two Indonesian terrorists.
Forty-four SAF commandos, now called as the “Fallen 44,” lost their lives in the operation. They did not die in vain, the same source said.