World Bulletin / News Desk
A suspected member of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group operating in the Philippines’ Muslim south has been arrested for the kidnapping of a Filipina-American and her son more than five years ago.
Local media reported Sunday that Wajir Tanadjalin Arajani, an Abu Sayyaf member based in the island province of Basilan was arrested in a joint operation by police and intelligence units in Sta. Catalina village Friday afternoon.
Police Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, Police Regional Office 9 public information chief, told Anadolu Agency that a warrant had been issued for Arajani for the kidnapping and illegal detention of Jerfa Lunsman and her son Kevin in June 2010.
"The arrest was made after a long period of chasing and surveillance by intelligence community that finally pinpointed his whereabouts and location," he said. “He is presently in the custody of Zamboanga City Police Office.”
Samuddin added that Arajani – who is known by many aliases including aliases "Mojahid" and "Baghdad" – was being investigated due to his resemblance to an artist sketch of the suspect in a recent deadly bombing.
An 11-year-old girl was killed and 30 other people injured Sept. 18 when an explosion ripped through a bus at a crowded market bus terminal in the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga.
A police investigation has reportedly shown that the Abu Sayyaf had demanded an initial payment of P500,000 ($10,750) and P20,000 monthly from the Biel Transport Company for “protection” before the blast.
The Zamboanga Today, however, cited the city’s police chief, Sr. Supt. Angelito Casimiro, as denying that Arajani is the suspect in the artist sketch.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.
It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2015, 12:06