MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it has arrested an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member in an operation conducted in Culiat, Quezon City last week.
NBI officer-in-charge, director Eric Distor identified the suspect as Albazir Abdulla alias Abu Saif.
The operatives of the NBI-Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) arrested Abdulla, who is facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges for his alleged involvement in the 2001 Golden Harvest Plantation kidnapping case.
The operation was launched after NBI sources reported sightings of Abdulla in Metro Manila. A victim-witness also identified him in a CTD photo line-up as one of the abductors and a member of the ASG.
A series of casing and surveillance operations was conducted by the NBI-CTD in coordination with counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to gather more information, which revealed the actual residence of Abdulla.
The arrested suspect was brought to NBI Detention Facility.
Distor said Abdulla is the second ASG member they arrested in Metro Manila this year. In May, operatives nabbed alleged ASG member Wahab Jamal alis Ustadz Halipa at Maharlika Village in Taguig.
The NBI said that the ASG group headed by their late leader Isnilon Hapilon and other senior ASG leaders raided the Golden Harvest Plantation in Brgy. Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan Province.
The terrorists seized the supplies from sari-sari stores and houses; livestock, firearms and ammunition from the plantation security. They also burned a chapel and detained 14 plantation workers, two of whom were beheaded by the terrorist group.
After four months of captivity, the victims were able to escape on separate occasions during the rescue operations by the government security forces.
After the incident, the ASG stayed in the mountains and some of its members assimilated back to society as “sleepers” or “spies,” the NBI said.