Killed IS liaison trained Sulu suicide bombers, bomb makers, says military
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The liaison of the Islamic State (IS) to terrorist group Abu Sayyaf who was killed in a military operation in Sulu on Friday, trained local suicide bombers and makers of improvised bombs.
Major Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said Talha Jumsa, also known as Abu Talha, was instrumental in upgrading the bomb-making capabilities of Sulu-based terrorists as well as training recruits who carry out attacks, including suicide bombing.
Jumsa was killed in an armed encounter with Scout Rangers in Sitio Tubig Amu, Barangay Tanum in Patikul town.
His remains were recovered by government troops on Saturday.
According to Vinluan, the car bombing in Lamitan City, Basilan in July 2018 was overseen by Mundi Sawadjaan, younger brother of Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.
Mundi, a known Tausug bomb maker, trained under Jumsa, Vinluan said.
Vinluan added that Jumsa’s imprint were visible in the suicide attacks at the Jolo Cathedral on Jan. 27, and at an Army installation in Indanan town, first on June 28 and another on Sept. 8.
The bombing at the Jolo church killed 20 people and wounded over a hundred, while those in the Army facilities killed 11 in all, including three suicide bombers, and wounded 22.
Vinluan disclosed that Jumsa was treasurer of the Abu Sayyaf, overseeing the group’s fund generation, maintaining contact with undisclosed foreign fund sources.
Jumsa also oversees disbursement of funds, he added.
Vinluan further said that Jumsa facilitated the entry into the country of foreign terrorist fighters who were eventually embedded into Sawadjaan’s group.
Brigadier Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, commander of the Army’s 1101st brigade, expects the death of Jumsa to cause demoralizaton among the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.
He lauded the Tausug people who reported to authorities the presence of Jumsa in their community and in serving as guides during the combat operation.
Edited by JPV
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