Eighteen years since the kidnapping and beheading incidents at Golden Harvest Plantation in Basilan in 2001, authorities finally arrested on Sunday (February 3) two elusive suspects in the crime.
Harub Jaljalis alias Indal, 45, and Pinky Ani Hadjinulla, 37, have been positively identified by survivors of the Golden Harvest Plantation incident as among the abductors. The two are alleged members of the Islamist terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Indal, who was arrested at a canteen in Zamboanga City, is a bomb maker for the Radullan Sahiron faction of the ASG. He received bomb-making training from Indonesian and Middle Eastern jihadists. He also served as an escort for a number of high-profile terrorists.
Indal has been known to work closely with Pinky Ani Hadjinulla who was arrested inside a shopping mall in Zamboanga City.
NBI Counter Terrorism Division chief, Atty. Raoul Manguerra said, “In a way we tried to neutralize this cell of Indal and Pinky Hadjinulla. Pinky Hadjinulla, we believe, conducts reconnaissance around Zamboanga to know possible targets either kidnapping or to commit other atrocities like throwing grenades.”
Authorities believe that the arrested suspects employ such tactics to create chaos in Zamboanga, Basilan Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, particularly after the series of bombings in these areas.
“They can conduct a series of bombings and kidnapping incidents to divert the focus and the attention of the law enforcement and the security forces in the area,” said NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin.
Authorities are still looking into the suspects’ possible involvement in the recent Jolo and Sulu blasts. — Chato Alonsagay (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is on heightened alert status in Metro Manila and the Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after the two bombing incidents in Basilan and Masbate.
However, PNP Spokesperson Police Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana emphasized that the PNP is on top of the situation and citizens have nothing to worry about.
He also clarified that the PNP is only being proactive that is why they are on heightened alert, but not yet on full alert.
“This is not endemic. Some incidents are not related. (It’s) perpetrated by the same group of people so nothing to be alarmed. The security forces are on top of the situation but at the same time we want to be proactive that’s why even here in Metro Manila ay nagkaroon po tayo ng heightened alert,” said Durana.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson fears that suicide bombings might inspire local extremists in sowing terror in crowded places across the country.
“It is worrisome in that it could inspire or motivate other homegrown local extremists and set a trend of a series of suicide bombings in thickly populated urban centers in Mindanao, Visayas and even here in Metro Manila,” Lacson said.
Authorities nabbed Islamic teacher Indalin Jainul for illegal possession of explosive after he was found with a fragmentation grenade.
He was named suspect in the bombing incident at a CAFGU detachment in Lamitan City, Basilan on Tuesday (August 1).
The police are investigating if there are other persons responsible behind the bombings. – UNTV News & Rescue
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