Sayyaf suspect arrested
ZAMBOANGA CITY—A man believed to be a member of an Abu Sayyaf group behind the 2007 beheadings of seven people in Sulu was arrested on Tuesday in Jolo town while scouting for a possible victim, according to the military.
The suspect, identified as Adzar Patta Mawallil, is a follower of Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad, said Col. Jose Johriel Cenabre, deputy commander for Marine operations of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao.
Parad’s group was behind the 2009 kidnapping of Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Marie Jean Lacaba, all workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Its members also snatched ABS-CBN senior reporter Ces Drilon, two of her news crew and university professor Octavio Dinampo in 2008.
Cenabre said a witness identified Mawallil as a member of Parad’s group. “The suspect was conducting surveillance in the area for possible kidnapping targets,” he said.
Mawallil, a resident of Indanan town, is very active in the Abu Sayyaf, he said.
In 2007, Parad’s group gained notoriety with the kidnapping and subsequent beheading of seven workers of a coconut milling facility in Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf, a ragtag band of self-styled Islamists, was founded in the 1980s by Saudi-trained cleric Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, a son of a Basileño and an Ilonggo woman. He was killed during a police operation in Basilan in December 1998.
He was succeeded by his brother, Khadaffy, as Abu Sayyaf leader but he, too, was killed.
The military then conducted combat operation one after another against the Abu Sayyaf, during which many of its high-profile leaders had been slain. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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