DOJ to begin extradition proceedings for Filipino suspect in NY plot

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — The Philippine government is set to begin processing a request to extradite 37-year-old orthopedic surgeon Russel Salic to the United States.

Salic is among three people charged for their alleged involvement in a plot to attack targets including New York City's subway and Times Square.

He allegedly sent money to fund the attacks.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Salic's possible extradition will have to be processed soon following the filing of charges against him.

"It only means that we have to begin the extradition proceedings being requested. We have a process to be followed and this has been done many times in the past," Aguirre said in a text message to CNN Philippines.

Salic is facing criminal charges in Manila over the kidnapping of six sawmill workers in Lanao del Sur. He is also accused of being involved in the beheading of two other captives.

The kidnapping and murder cases filed against him are now in the  preliminary investigation stage at the DOJ.

Aguirre said the preliminary probe will continue while the extradition proceedings take place.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año said Salic is under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation since he surrendered last April.

"He was involved in terror activities by providing funds and donations to suspected terrorists in Middle East, U.S. and Malaysia from 2014 up to 2016. (He) has been under watch and surveillance for his suspicious activities in coordination with allied foreign intel agencies," Año said.

Salic is also being connected to the Maute group who is behind the Marawi siege.

At the moment, the Justice secretary sees no reason why the Philippines shouldn't agree to Salic's extradition to the U.S.

Though he added that Salic himself could oppose it.

"The subject may oppose his extradition," Aguirre said.