MANILA, Philippines-Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias "Marwan," is dead, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday night.
In a statement sent to the Inquirer, David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said tests showed the DNA sample sent by the Philippine government belonged to Marwan.
"Although the results of the DNA examinations do not provide absolute identification, the results do support that the biological sample provided by Philippine authorities came from Marwan," Bowdich said.
He said there was need for further tests and analysis by laboratory examiners "in an effort to fully identify the subject of DNA provided to the FBI."
The government learned about the results of the DNA tests on Wednesday morning, a ranking government official told the Inquirer.
At press time, there were scant details how the FBI informed the Aquino administration of the positive identification of Marwan, a Malaysian-born bomb expert who had a $6-million price on his head.
"Yes, it's true. The US has confirmed it's Marwan," said the source on condition of anonymity for lack of authority to speak to the media.
Members of the Special Action Force (SAF), the US-trained police commandos of the Philippine National Police, killed Marwan in the operation launched before dawn on Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province.
Marwan's Filipino deputy, Abdul Basit Usman, who carries a $3-million price on his head, escaped.
Unable to bring Marwan's body, the SAF troopers took photos of the slain terrorist and cut off the index finger of his right hand for DNA testing.
The finger was sent to the FBI for lab tests. One military source, however, said the testing was done in Singapore and was completed on Saturday, five days after the encounter.
Sources said the DNA sample provided by the Philippine government matched with DNA from Marwan's brother Rahmat Abhir, who is being held at the US detention centre on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.