MANILA, Philippines – Authorities were set to deport two American brothers who were arrested for suspected links to terrorism, immigration officials said Tuesday.
Michael Ray Stubbs, 55, and his brother James Stubbs, 56, a convert to Islam, were arrested as the government warned earlier this month that Indonesian members of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (search) have been training Filipino rebels in bomb-making and other tactics in the south of the country.
They were detained on immigration violation charges earlier this month in the town of Tanza in Cavite province, some 20 miles southwest of Manila (search), the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday.
The statement said the brothers would be deported to the United States as "undesirable aliens ... based on intelligence reports that they were seen meeting with known leaders of various terrorist cells in the country with links to Al Qaeda."
Officials said that the two were of Middle East descent and born in Missouri. They did not know where or have current information on hometowns.
James Stubbs is also known as Jamil Daoud Mujahid, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli, who said authorities in the Philippines notified American officials two days after the men were arrested on immigration charges on Dec. 13.
Consular officials from the U.S. Embassy met with both men on Dec. 17, Ereli said.
According to military intelligence reports, Mujahid allegedly met in May with several charity groups suspected of being Al Qaeda (search) fronts. More information on the men was expected to be released Tuesday.
Jemaah Islamiyah, which has links to Al Qaeda, is suspected of several terror attacks, including last year's Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
Philippine authorities say the group was involved in a series of December 2000 bombings that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 in the capital, Manila.