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JI bomb expert seen in Philippines?
Ano based his claim on "consistent reports" that Marwan has allegedly been sighted several times in Cotabato City while conducting meeting with his allies.
"We have sources claiming to have met Marwan (in Cotabato) and there was no really concrete evidence that would show that he was killed during the military offensive, I think two years ago," the ISAFP chief stressed.
The military earlier reported that Marwan, together with another JI operative, Singaporean Mohammad Abdullah Ali aka "Muawiyah", were killed in the Feb. 2, 2012 airstrike by the Air Force in Sulu.
Claims of Marwan surviving the attack surfaced anew after Abu Sayyaf Group commander Khair Mundos, under interrogation, admitted that Marwan is still alive.
Mundos was arrested by the ISAFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) during operations in San Isidro, Paranaque last June 11.
Meanwhile, Ano said the possibility that Marwan is still alive will not affect the AFP's anti-terror campaign, adding that the military is still conducting intensified, focused intelligence operations against the remaining JIs in the Philippines.
He estimates the remaining JIs to be around 10 to 12.
The Malaysian terrorist arrived in the Philippines in 2006 to help the ASG in bomb making.
The US government has placed a bounty of US$ 5 million on the JI operative's head.
Ano also placed the remaining number of ASG to 400.
He, however, said that ISAFP still does not have information on whether Marwan and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have formed an alliance.