Jihadist leader, 2 others captured in Southern Philippines
SOUTH COTABATO – Philippine authorities arrested an alleged leader of the jihadist group Ansarul Khilafah or AKP in an operation in South Cotabato province, south of the country.
Police said Abdullah Nilong alias Ali was captured January 17 along with 2 of his followers – one of them is his brother Zaidon and the other Rebskie Dumat is a village leader - Lapu in Polomolok town.
Abdullah is believed to be the new leader of Ansarul Khilafah following the killing last month of its chieftain Muhammad Jaafar Maguid by security forces in Kiamba town in Sarangani province.
Superintendent Romeo Galgo, Jr., a regional police spokesman, confirmed the capture of the trio and said the men were being interrogated by the authorities.
The Ansarul Khilafah (in the Philippines) was organized initially by the notorious bomber and Abdul Basit Usman - who was allied with the Jemaah Islamiah - in Maguindanao in 2014. Maguid took over the group after Usman was killed in 2015 in the hinterlands of Maguindanao province.
Just recently, security forces also killed a foreign jihadist identified as Abu Naila al-Amriki and his wife Khadijah in Sarangani’s Maasim town and both were believed to be members of the Islamic State.
AKP, along with other local jihadist groups, pledged support to the Islamic State and vowed to fight in an effort to establish a strict caliphate in the southern Philippines. (Moh Saaduddin)