Abu Sayyaf leader nabbed in Zamboanga CityBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—A sub-commander of Islamic extremist group Abu Sayyaf tagged in the beheading of an American hostage in 2001, among other offenses, was arrested in Zamboanga City Thursday afternoon, a Criminal Investigation and Detection Group official said Friday.
CIDG chief, Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. identified the suspect as Alawie Pasihul a.k.a Ustadz Asman, 42, a resident of Campo Islam, Zamboanga City, said to have been recruiting Muslim youths to the insurgent group.
Joint police and military operating units arrested Asman around 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Sevilla and Saragoza Streets, Plaza Pershing, downtown Zamboanga City by virtue of an arrest warrant for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, Pagdilao said.
Pagdilao said Pasihul was involved in the kidnapping of 51 people—composed of public school teachers, a priest and school children—in Sumisip, Basilan province; beheading of kidnapped victim Guillermo Sobero in 2001; and in the 2002 Cabatangan siege at Zamboanga City.
Pasihul is a known follower of the late Abu Sayyaf leader Abdurajak Janjalani and presently involved in recruiting Muslim youths for membership with ASG-AWLIYAH Group, based in Sulu, known for having ferociously attacked Sulu-based Philippine Marines soldiers, he said.
Seized from Pasihul is a Moro National Liberation Front identification card under the name of BGen Habib Alawie Pasihul and a mobile phone, now being examined at the CIDG’s digital forensic laboratory.