Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sayyaf Man Captured In Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 25 Apr) Security forces captured a member of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group allegedly involved in the spate of bomb attacks and kidnappings in the southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday.

Officials said Sharie Amiruddin, who is also known as Abu Omar, was nabbed Monday by soldiers in downtown Zamboanga City. "He is captured alright. There is an ongoing operation against the Abu Sayyaf," Army Colonel Edgardo Gidaya, comander of an anti-terror task force, told the Zamboanga Journal.

Gidaya said Amiruddin was handed over to the police. No other details about Amiruddin were made available by the military and the police.

But intelligence reports linked 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 were 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.

The military said Amiruddin was also implicated in the 2001 kidnapping of 20 holidaymakers, including three U.S. citizens, in Dos Palmas resort in the central Philippine island of Palawan.

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