MANILA, Philippines — Philippine police dealt a new blow to a notorious al-Qaida-linked group with the arrest of a suspected militant wanted in a string of kidnappings and killings, officials said Thursday.
Mujibar Alih Amon, an alleged logistics officer of the Abu Sayyaf group, took part in the 2000 abduction of American Muslim convert Jeffrey Schilling, who later escaped, and 21 Western tourists and staff of a Malaysian resort earlier that year, national police chief Jesus Verzosa said.
Verzosa handed a 600,000 peso ($13,000) reward to an unidentified civilian informant who led police in a raid on Amon’s hide-out Saturday on southern Jolo Island, a militant stronghold.
In the last six years of U.S.-backed counterterrorism strikes, Philippine security forces have killed or arrested more than 800 suspected militants, including 12 this month alone, said Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor.
The arrest of Amon, 26, came a day before troops killed senior Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad, who was charged with murder and kidnappings, including last year’s abductions of three Red Cross workers.
Security forces last week captured another suspected militant, Jumadali Arad, who was allegedly the driver of a speedboat used to carry dozens of hostages the Abu Sayyaf snatched from a southwestern resort in 2001. They included three Americans, two of whom were later killed.
With the arrests and Parad’s killing, Verzosa said authorities „are very positive that the strength and the morale of the group has been drastically reduced.”
Police intelligence officials said Amon joined the Abu Sayyaf in 1998, seven years after it was founded with suspected al-Qaida funds, and received combat training.
He was trained in bomb-making by Umar Patek, an Indonesian terrorist suspect wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings, police said. Patek and Dulmatin, both members of the Indonesia-based militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, fled to the southern Philippines after the bomb attacks.
Amon allegedly planted a bomb on a road to Jolo airport that killed two army bomb squad members who tried to defuse it in 2003, police said. He also allegedly was part of a group of militants who seized two army soldiers and burned them alive that same year.
In 2001, police said he joined the militants who kidnapped six members of the Christian sect Jehovah’s Witnesses, two of whom were later decapitated and their heads dumped in the Jolo market along with a note calling for a holy war.
The Abu Sayyaf, which is fighting to create an Islamic caliphate in the predominantly Christian nation, still has about 400 fighters, down from its peak of about 1,000 in the early 2000s, authorities said. It is on the U.S.-list of terrorist organizations.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
Don’t Get Upset About Red Bicyclette All Eyes On D.C. In Pictures: The Most Corrupt Countries On The Spot: GE

Read the article on Forbes

Philippine police arrest another terror suspect

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine police dealt a new blow to a notorious al-Qaida-linked group with the arrest of a suspected militant wanted in a string of kidnappings and killings, officials said Thursday.
Mujibar Alih Amon, an alleged logistics officer of the Abu Sayyaf group, took part in the 2000 abduction of American Muslim convert Jeffrey Schilling, who later escaped, and 21 Western tourists and staff of a Malaysian resort earlier that year, national police chief Jesus Verzosa said.
Verzosa handed a 600,000 peso ($13,000) reward to an unidentified civilian informant who led police in a raid on Amon’s hide-out Saturday on southern Jolo Island, a militant stronghold.
In the last six years of U.S.-backed counterterrorism strikes, Philippine security forces have killed or arrested more than 800 suspected militants, including 12 this month alone, said Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor.
The arrest of Amon, 26, came a day before troops killed senior Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad, who was charged with murder and kidnappings, including last year’s abductions of three Red Cross workers.
Security forces last week captured another suspected militant, Jumadali Arad, who was allegedly the driver of a speedboat used to carry dozens of hostages the Abu Sayyaf snatched from a southwestern resort in 2001. They included three Americans, two of whom were later killed.
With the arrests and Parad’s killing, Verzosa said authorities „are very positive that the strength and the morale of the group has been drastically reduced.”
Police intelligence officials said Amon joined the Abu Sayyaf in 1998, seven years after it was founded with suspected al-Qaida funds, and received combat training.
He was trained in bomb-making by Umar Patek, an Indonesian terrorist suspect wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings, police said. Patek and Dulmatin, both members of the Indonesia-based militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, fled to the southern Philippines after the bomb attacks.
Amon allegedly planted a bomb on a road to Jolo airport that killed two army bomb squad members who tried to defuse it in 2003, police said. He also allegedly was part of a group of militants who seized two army soldiers and burned them alive that same year.
In 2001, police said he joined the militants who kidnapped six members of the Christian sect Jehovah’s Witnesses, two of whom were later decapitated and their heads dumped in the Jolo market along with a note calling for a holy war.
The Abu Sayyaf, which is fighting to create an Islamic caliphate in the predominantly Christian nation, still has about 400 fighters, down from its peak of about 1,000 in the early 2000s, authorities said. It is on the U.S.-list of terrorist organizations.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
Don’t Get Upset About Red Bicyclette All Eyes On D.C. In Pictures: The Most Corrupt Countries On The Spot: GE

Read the article on Forbes

Postat de pe data de 31 ian., 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 49 ori.

Publica un raspuns