ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Government security forces captured two Abu Sayyaf militants, including a sub-leader tagged in the Lamitan siege in Basilan province, in separate law enforcement operations late Wednesday in this Zamboanga City.
The captured suspects were identified as Nur Hassan alias Hassan, a sub-leader wanted for his alleged participation in the string of kidnappings and the Lamitan siege, and Jemhar Halillula Alih with aliases of Memay Alih, Ustadz Haepa and Ustadz Wahid.
Hassan was captured inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) area at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday by joint elements of the Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ), Army intelligence unit and the police. Meanwhile, Alih fell into the hands of the joint police intelligence unit about 11:15 p.m. during a raid at his safehouse in the coastal village of Taluksangay, east of this city.
Col. Andrelino Colina, chief of the TFZ, an anti-terror unit, said Hassan, a native of Basilan, was spotted by tracking military intelligence inside the vicinity of the port area prompting his unit and police forces to conduct the operation backed with the warrant of arrest issued by two courts in Isabela City, Basilan.
“The suspects have pending 12 cases of kidnapping with serious illegal detention with ransom based on the warrant of arrest issued by the local courts of Isabela City,” Colina said.
He said the cases against Hassan include the Lamitan siege incident last June 2001 and the abduction of plantation workers in Barangay Tairan, Lantawan town on the same year.
The suspect was brought to the Philippine Center for Transnational Crim inside the police headquarters for documentation and subsequently turned over to the custody of the police.
Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, city police director, said the joint police intelligence unit captured Alih who has a pending warrant of arrest for carnapping and attempted murder issued by Judge Catherine Fabian of Regional Trial Court Branch 16.
The apprehending forces recovered from Alih a fragmentation grenade and a pistol pouch.
Alih was detained at the city police office while undergoing tactical interrogation.