Thursday, December 24, 2020

Sayyaf man in kidnap-slay of Canadian miner captured in Manila

MANILA – Police captured early Thursday two notorious members of the pro-ISIS group Abu Sayyaf, one of them is involved in the 2015 kidnapping of three foreigners – one beheaded in captivity - and a Filipina on a posh holiday resort in the South.


National Police Chief Debold Sinas said the militant Jehan Aklul and Mohammad Muslimin were tracked down on their hideout not far from the Presidential Palace in San Miguel in Manila. The raiders also seized two hand grenades, a blasting cap and detonating cord from the hideout.


Sinas said Aklul is a prime suspect in the kidnapping of Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall; and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Maritess Flor who were taken from Samal Island. 


Ridsdel - Chief Operating Officer of TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc. - was eventually beheaded on April 25, 2016 after his family failed to pay P300 million ransom demanded by the Abu Sayyaf. 


The other three hostages were separately  freed unharmed after ransom payments by private negotiators.


Just early this month, three of Abu Sayyaf fighters - one of them also involved in the Samal Island kidnappings - surrendered to the Philippine military in the southern province of Tawi-Tawi.


Army Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said the trio, who surrendered separately, yielded weapons and may be handed over to the custody of the local government. He identified the militants as Alsadi Hanain, Bennaser Pae and Ugali Alimudin. 


He said Hanain is being linked to the Samal Island kidnappings. Hanain was also involved in the ransom kidnappings of Italian national Rolando del Torchio on October 7, 2014; European birdwatcher Ewold Horn who was killed in May 2019 during a firefight between militants and soldiers; and Chinese Jin Hua Chen and Yahong Chen. 


Vinluan said Hanain, who was under terror leader Hajan Sawadjaan, is also involved in deadly attacks on security forces in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu.


Tens of dozens of Abu Sayyaf militants surrendered in the South in the past years to avail of the government’s peace program in exchange for financial assistance and livelihood aid. But many of these terrorists opted to surrender and availed of the program to escape criminal liability.


Since 1995, hundreds and perhaps thousands of Abu Sayyaf fighters and New People’s Army and Moro rebels surrendered to the government through various programs - from Up, Up (United for Peace, United for Progress) Mindanao and Balik-Baril Program and the Comprehensive Local Integration Program now called Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, and other similar undertakings to lure rebels and terrorists to surrender peacefully.


But the majority of those who yielded cannot be accounted for now by the government and many of them had reportedly rejoined their groups after spending government money and back in their old ways again. (Mindanao Examiner)


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