Thursday, July 09, 2009

Philippines holds 7 terror suspects

Soldiers escort a suspected Abu Sayyaf militant Hakim Jajirim who was captured in a raid in Jolo town in the southern Philippine island of Sulu on Thursday, July 9, 2009. Police and soldiers seized assorted gun parts, including an M60 machine gun in his hideout late Wednesday. Security forces also captured two wives of militant leader Albader Parad and four other suspected Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu on Tuesday. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Nickee Butlangan).

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 9, 2009) – Philippine soldiers captured 7 people believed to have links with Abu Sayyaf militants tied to Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiya in the southern island of Sulu, officials said on Thursday.

Officials said among the seven were two wives of a militant leader Albader Parad and a man suspected of supplying weapons to the Abu Sayyaf.

The man was captured on Wednesday by soldiers and policemen at a hideout in Jolo town, said Army First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.

“He is undergoing tactical interrogation,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Parad’s wives and four other militants, who were arrested in Indanan on Tuesday, are also being investigated for their roles in a deadly bombing that killed 2 people in Jolo.

The six were also implicated in the kidnappings of three Red Cross workers Swiss national Andreas Notter, Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba and Italian Eugenio Vagni in January in Patikul town. Both Notter and Lacaba were freed by the Abu Sayyaf on suspicion that ransom was paid for their liberty.

Television reports identified the wives of Parad as Rowena Aksan and Nursima Annudden while their companions were Rabia Asiri, Marwina Salasain, Madrimar Bagadi and Midsfar Aksan.
ABS-CBN reported that soldiers also seized more than P300,000 from the group intercepted at a military checkpoint in the village of Tagbak.

Military and police intelligence reports said several Jemaah Islamiya terrorists are among the Abu Sayyaf that kidnapped the aid workers - Mauiya, Dulmatin, Zulkifli bin Hir and Umar Patek - who are all wanted by Indonesia for the spate of deadly attacks, including the Bali bombing in 2002. The US has offered at least $16 million rewards for their capture.

The Abu Sayyaf, whose name means “bearer of the sword” in Arabic, split from the larger Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace deal with Manila in 1996.

The United States listed the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization that also boasts of ties to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Philippine authorities said the Jemaah Islamiya terrorists fled to Mindanao where they sought refuge under the protection of the Abu Sayyaf and rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group. (Mindanao Examiner)

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