Military confirms Basit Usman manufacturing bombs in Maguindanao
MANILA, Philippines—After military forces raided a Jemaah Islamiyah encampment in Maguindanao and spotted Basit Usman, a military official said Thursday said that the alleged terrorist was making bombs for Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the 6th Infantry Division, said that Usman managed to flee the area unscathed.
“He was there, unfortunately, we were not able to shoot him, and he fled unwounded,” Hermoso said.
On Tuesday, government troops captured four rebels, two men and two women, one of whom turned out to be Usman’s wife.
Hermoso said that the military has established the connection that JI and the BIFF had forged an alliance with the southeast Asian terror group supporting the Islamic rebels in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices.
“We have established the connection that JI and BIFF has an alliance,” Hermoso said. “The BIFF uses many IEDs, and Basit is the one who makes it.
As a member of both the JI and the Abu Sayyaf, Usman has established such notoriety that the United States Department labels him as a “bomb-making” expert and has a $1-million bounty on his head.
Hermoso said that they are still looking for the possibility that the JI is funding the BIFF .
“We are still checking that possibility, though we are sure that the two groups have an alliance,” Hermoso said.
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