Saturday, April 29, 2006

Abu Militant Captured In Basilan Island

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 25 Apr) Military agents captured Saturday an Abu Sayyaf militant, whose group is tied to terrorist al-Qaeda network, in the southern Philippine island of Basilan, officials said.

Officials said Abdusalih Dimah was nabbed in Basilan's Kapayawan village around 6.30 a.m. after weeks of surveillance operation by army and military agents. A gun was seized from Dimah, they said.

The military implicated Dimah in the 2001 kidnapping of 20 holidaymakers, including three U.S. citizens -- Kansas missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and Californian Guillermo Sobero -- in the posh Dos Palmas resort in the central Philippine island of Palawan.

Officials said security forces were tracking down other members of the Abu Sayyaf group hiding on Basilan island in northernmost of the Sulu Archipelago.

Security forces on Monday also captured an Abu Sayyaf member, Sharie Amiruddin, who is also known by his nom de guerre as Abu Omar, in Zamboanga City.

The military also linked Amiruddin to the Dos Palmas kidnapping and the spate of bomb attacks in the southern Philippines. Intelligence reports tied Amiruddin to previous bomb attacks in Jolo island and Zamboanga City and the kidnappings of Filipinos in Basilan island the past years.
It was not immediately known if Amiruddin was the same Abu Omar -- a spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf -- who was threatening to kidnap and kill local journalists critical of the terrorist group. Omar earlier warned his group would attack civilian targets in Zamboanga City and Basilan in retaliation to ongoing government operation against the Abu Sayyaf.

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