Western Mindanao Army chief Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo hands over Friday 30 Mar 2007 one million pesos reward money to a masked Abu Sayyaf informant who helped the Philippine military capture a sub-leader of the militant group, Abdullah Mohammad, in November 2005 in Zamboanga City, as Army Col. Pedro Ancanan looks on. Mohammad is implicated in the kidnapping of US missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and California tourist Guillermo Sobero in a posh island resort in Central Philippines. Martin and Guillermo were later killed by the Abu Sayyaf group tied to Al-Qaeda terror network. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 30 Mar) – The Philippine military on Friday rewarded an informant with one million pesos for helping security forces capture a notorious Abu Sayyaf sub-leader implicated in the kidnapping of three American citizens seven years ago.
“More and more people are providing us vital information about the terrorists. And those who are helping us will be rewarded accordingly,” Lieutenant General Eugenio Cedo, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, told the Mindanao Examiner.
The masked informant did not speak to journalist and was whisked away by intelligence agents escorting him at the military base in Zamboanga City after receiving the money.
The United States also rewarded $2,500 to the same informant last month for the capture of Mohammad, who is included in Washington’s terror lists.
Cedo said the Philippine government provided the money as reward for the capture of Abdullah Mohammad, who was tracked down by troops in the village of Ayala in Zamboanga City.
The military implicated Mohammad in the 2000 kidnapping of Kansas missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and California man Guillermo Sobero and 17 other Filipino holiday-makers at the posh Dos Palmas resort in the central Philippine province of Palawan.
He was also linked to the kidnappings of dozens of people in Basilan island off Zamboanga in 2000, where 11 hostages had been beheaded.
Washington listed the Abu Sayyaf as a foreign terrorist group and offered as much as $5 million bounty for the capture of its known leader.
The Abu Sayyaf is said to be coddling Indonesian and Malaysian Jemaah Islamiya bombers in the southern Philippines.
Just this week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has authorized a new reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, a terrorist believed to be involved in multiple deadly bomb attacks in the Philippines.
Zulkifli bin Hir has been added to most-wanted list of the Rewards for Justice Program, administered by the Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.Zulkifli bin Hir is a Malaysian citizen born in 1966 in Muar, Johor.
An engineer trained in the United States, he allegedly heads the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) terrorist organization and is a member of Jemaah Islamiyah's central command.
The U.S. State Department said he has been present in the Philippines since August 2003, where he is believed to have conducted bomb-making training for the Abu Sayyaf.
His younger brother, Taufik bin Abdul Halim, Dany, was involved in the 2001 Jakarta Atrium Mall bombing, and currently is in detention in Indonesia. (Mindanao Examiner)