NBI arrest six alleged Abu Sayyaf members
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday presented six alleged members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, of whom five were involved in an 18-year-old abduction case in Basilan.
According to NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin, the alleged terrorist members were arrested under the Operation Point Break in Taguig City, Bataan City, and Zamboanga City.
"The six arrested were involved in different terrorist activities ranging from ambush, kidnapping for ransom, bombing in southern part of the Philippines and recruitment of other members of terrorist groups," Lavin said.
NBI said three were arrested in Zamboanga City, two in the boundary of Taguig City and Paranaque City, and one in Balanga, Bataan.
Five suspected terrorists were allegedly involved in the 2001 abduction of eight workers from the Golden Harvest Plantation in Tairan Lantawan, Basilan.
The other one was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of six members of the Jehovah's Witness in Patikul Sulu last 2002.
NBI Counter Terrorism Division Chief Raoul Mangerra identified the members as Abu Amar, Toto Aling, Jamil Ibrahim alias Malangka Dawasa, Haji Ramon Gonzales, and Majuk Amil.
Lavin also said Ibrahim is still under verification "considering that he spent 26 years in Malaysia." Mangerra added he reportedty recruited fighters from Sabah and smuggled them to the Philippines.
Authorities said some worked as security guards, which allowed them to have access to firearms. Others were construction workers.
Mangerra clarified that despite the recent arrests of alleged members, they have to validate whether there are planned attacks by the terrorist groups.
"We haven't uncovered any plan like that so far. But we try to disrupt those kinds of plans. We try to neutralize their efforts to recruit fighters from Manila going back to Mindanao," he said.
According to Lavin, the arrested terrorist group members will be kept in a "monitored highly secured facility" in the premises of NBI.
"For security reasons we cannot disclose fully the exact location of our isolation facility," he added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS