Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sayyaf militant arrested in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / September 16, 2009) – Security forces have arrested an Abu Sayyaf militant in the southern Philippines port city of Zamboanga, officials said on Wednesday.

Major Ramon David Hontiveros, a spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said a joint team of soldiers and policemen arrested Almujahid Susukan on charges of kidnappings.

“An AFP-PNP (Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police) team recently arrested Almujahid Susukan in Zamboanga City by virtue of warrants of arrest for 21 counts of kidnappings and serious illegal detention,” Hontiveros said.

He did not say when the arrest took place or give details of the operation in Zamboanga City, but the ABS-CBN television reported that Susukan was nabbed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group at the local port on September 9.

It said Susukan, a sub-leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, is the brother of Jawawi and Mujiv Susukan, both militants who were killed in separate military offensive in Sulu province the past years.

Susukan was implicated in the kidnappings of 21 Asian and European holidaymakers from the Malaysian island-resort of Sipadan in 2000.

The report said Susukan was a former Moro rebel who later joined the army, but later deserted his unit and joined the Abu Sayyaf. He was previously arrested by the military in Sulu province, however, it was unclear whether Susukan had been freed or escaped or working with the armed forces as a spy.

Many of arrested Abu Sayyaf had been used by the military as a spy, often working for bounties offered by the Philippine and US governments for the capture of known militant leaders in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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