Security forces launched a massive hunt for two Indonesians and a Filipino member of the pro-IS terror group Abu Sayyaf who are planning attacks in the Zamboanga Peninsula in the southern Philippines. Mayor Beng Climaco released the photos of the terrorists and warned the public to keep on the lookout for the trio.
She said the government has offered a P3 million reward for the capture of the Indonesian Andi Baso and his female partner Reski Fantasya; and Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan, who is being linked to the recent twin suicide bombings in Jolo town in the neighboring province of Sulu.
“Authorities warn the public against three members of the Sulu-based ASG believed to have been sent out for a mission to sow terror in Zamboanga Peninsula. The national government is offering a reward of P3M for the information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of each of the suspects,” Climaco said in an advisory alongside photos of the terrorists.
The photos were provided by the military’s anti-terror Joint Task Force Zamboanga which also called on the public to stay vigilant. “The community is advised to be vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person/local terrorist,” it said.
Last Wednesday, police captured an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Jamiul Nassalon whose group was reportedly planning to launch attacks in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
BGen. Jesus Cambay Jr, regional police chief, said Nassalon was tracked down in his hideout in Caliran village in Zamboanga Sibugay’s Mabuhay town. “Presently, Jamiul Nassalon is in the process of organizing his group intended for another terroristic activity within the Zamboanga Peninsula,” he said.
“Jamiul Nassalon was arrested (by police forces) after a 3-hour travel using high-speed sea craft which surreptitiously entered the shorelines of Mabuhay municipality, taking advantage of the darkness of the night and unknown to him a police asset and members of the Barangay Intelligence Network had been monitoring his activities,” he added.
He said the 41-year old Nassalon, who uses various nom de guerre, is facing a string of criminal charges in connection to his bloody attacks against civilians in the region.
Nassalon was also implicated in the 2009 kidnapping of 71-year old Doroteo Gonzales, a carpenter in Zamboanga City who was eventually beheaded in Basilan province after his family failed to pay P25 million ransom in exchange for his life.
He was allegedly involved in the bombing of a provincial bus in Zamboanga City in 2012 that wounded at least six people; the killings of eight fishermen off Siromon Island, also in Zamboanga in 2017; and the strafing of a provincial in Buenavista village here that injured at least eight passengers.
Nassalon’s capture came after National Police Chief General Archie Gamboa ordered an intensified campaign against the terrorist group linked to IS and Mayor Climaco also ordered the police and military to tighten security in Zamboanga City following the August 24 bombings carried out by widows of slain Abu Sayyaf fighters in Jolo. The suicide attacks, which the IS claimed, had killed over a dozen people and injured many civilians.
It was not immediately known whether Nassalon provided intelligence to police and military about the plan of the Indonesian and Filipino terrorists to launch attacks in the region.