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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alleged Abu Sayyaf member linked to deadly Malaysian raid nabbed in Tawi-Tawi

By: Thom Andrade, | Agence France-Presse
August 27, 2014 11:00 AM
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 4:04 p.m.) An alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf suspected of taking part in at least one deadly kidnapping raid on a Malaysian diving resort island was arrested in Tawi-Tawi province Tuesday, police said.
Mobin Hailil, alias “Kahumbo,” was captured in Barangay Sanga-Sanga in Bongao town around 10 a.m. Tuesday by a large composite team from the Special Action Force, the intelligence unit of the Region 9 police, Tawi-Tawi police and Air Force intelligence.
Special Action Force Director Getulio Napenas said Hailil was "involved in kidnapping and killings" on the Malaysian resort island of Mabul, about 150 kilometers from Tawi-Tawi.
"When local police located him we were called in because they knew members of his clan would fight back," Napenas told AFP.
A .45 caliber pistol and a grenade were seized from Hailil, who did not resist arrest.
Although no details were given about the Malaysian raid Hailil is accused of participating in, Malaysian security officials have reported that a policeman was killed and a second officer kidnapped by heavily armed men from Mabula, which is off Borneo, on July 12.
The Malaysian newspaper The Star on Wednesday quoted unnamed Malaysian intelligence sources as saying Hailil might have been responsible for that attack, as well as other kidnappings in the area.
The July shooting was the latest in a spate of kidnapping raids in Sabah, home to some of the world's top diving sites, in violence that has hurt the local tourism industry.
In June, Filipino gunmen seized a Malaysian fish breeder and his Filipino worker from their farm in Sabah. They have not yet been freed.
In May a Chinese fish farm manager was abducted from his farm, while in April a female Chinese tourist and a Filipino resort worker were abducted. All three were released.
Authorities did not disclose if ransoms were paid of the trio, but the kidnappers had demanded money in exchange for their release.
The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the Philippines' worst terrorist attacks, but nowadays mostly survives through kidnappings for ransom and extortion.
Founded in the 1990s with seed money from Al Qaeda, it is believed to be holding several foreign hostages in Jolo, including two European bird watchers and a Japanese man.


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