World Bulletin / News Desk
A suspected leader of the Abu Sayyaf group and seven other militants were arrested in Malaysia, the military confirmed on Sunday.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces' public affairs office chief, said Abu Asrie, whose real name is Hajar Abdul Mubin, was arrested in an operation by Royal Malaysian Police in Cheras, one of Kuala Lumpur's largest suburbs.
Arevalo added another suspected Filipino militant, identified as Abraham Ebong, and six Malaysians of Filipino descent from Sabah were also arrested.
Rappler quoted Arevalo saying that the arrest of these individuals is a significant development in the government's security cooperation with Malaysia and other neighboring countries in Asia.
"...to curb terrorism including attempts to recruit new members or entice individuals to support terrorism or violent extremism."
According to Malaysian media reports, Abu Asrie is believed to be a member of Lucky 9, a Jolo-based kidnap-for-ransom group that has links to the Abu Sayyaf terror group based in Jolo jungles and Basilan islands in southern Philippines.
The Lucky 9 gang was involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities in Sulu and known to demand ransom payments of P10,000 Philippine pesos.
Authorities said some of the suspects were security guards and were even members of the Civil Defence Corporation in Malaysia, the Star reported.
They tagged Abu Asrie as the right-hand man of chief lieutenant of Furuji Indama, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf faction based in Basilan.
On August 21, the group of Indama attacked a village in Maluso town in the southern province of Basilan, leaving nine civilians dead and several others wounded.
Abu Asrie slipped into Malaysia in 2015 after meeting with Malaysian ISIL militants Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, Mohd Najob Hussein and Muhammad Joraimee in Basilan.
Group members with links to the Abu Sayyaf were on the run in Jolo after Philippines security forces went after them.
Dr Mahmud along with other Abu Sayyaf leaders, were with the Maute group during the attack on Marawi City in Mindanao.
The arrested Abu Sayyaf suspects will face charges in Malaysia.Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Eylül 2017, 10:28