Man killed in Philippines raid was wanted terror suspect Marwan, DNA indicates

A Philippines Armed Forces spokesman shows a picture of Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, in 2012.

Story highlights

  • The FBI says a DNA sample taken from a raid in the Philippines matches a relative of Marwan
  • Marwan is an FBI most wanted terror suspect, suspected of being behind bombing campaigns
  • 44 elite Philippine commandos were killed in the raid on his hideout last month

(CNN)Philippines security forces killed one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists during an otherwise disastrous mission in the south of the country last month, DNA tests indicate.

Commandos in pursuit of the notorious Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, took a DNA sample from the scene of their assault on their target, and passed it to the FBI for testing.
    Marwan -- believed by the FBI to a member of southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah's central command -- had previously been falsely reported dead after a raid by Philippine security forces in 2012.
      But preliminary results from the tests showed a link with a known relative of Marwan, said David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office.
      While the testing could not yet provide "absolute identification," he said, "the results do support that the biological sample provided by Philippine authorities came from Marwan."
      Marwan's brother, Rahmat bin Hir, is in a California prison following a 2007 arrest for conspiracy to provide "material support to terrorists."

      'Most wanted'

      The FBI has been offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Marwan's capture, in the wake of his 2007 indictment on terror charges in a California court.
      It accuses him of being a supplier of IEDs to terrorist organizations, and having conducted bomb-making training for terror groups, including the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf.
      "He was the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah within the Philippines, the most senior figure," said Clarke Jones, a terrorism expert at Australian National University, who works on de-radicalizing Islamist terrorists in Philippine prisons.
      The Philippines has been fighting an insurgency in the predominantly Muslim south for years, and last year signed a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest rebel group in the region.