AFP to fly arrested Abu Sayyaf leader to Manila

AFP to fly arrested Abu Sayyaf leader to Manila

Mugshot of Abu Sayyaf leader Abduljihad “Idang” Susukan. (Photo courtesy of Davao City Police Office)

MANILA – Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-commander Abduljihad “Idang” Susukan will be flown from Davao City to Manila aboard a military aircraft and afterward transferred to police custody, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday.

In a message to reporters, AFP spokesperson, Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said Susukan will be escorted by a contingent of military and police personnel during his transfer.

“Per the arrangement between AFP chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay and PNP (Philippine National Police) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa and to facilitate the movement and simplify the processes, Susukan will be handed over by the composite security escort to the PNP upon disembarkation at the airport,” Arevalo said.

He added that Susukan will be under the temporary custody of the PNP pending a commitment order from the court as to where he will be detained.

Meanwhile, Gapay said the arrest of Susukan was a major blow on the leadership of this Islamic State-inspired ASG.

One of the Susukan siblings, Mujib, had been neutralized by AFP operating units in May 2003.

Meanwhile, his brother Almujahid was arrested in September 2009 and is currently in jail.

Gapay also said he has directed field unit commanders in Mindanao to further intensify focused military operations to prevent possible retaliation by Idang’s followers.

The operation is also aimed at forcing the surrender or neutralization of terrorists, he added.

“The soldiers will continue to harness the support of the local populace and civilian leaders to degrade the number and capability of these local terrorists who have been gripping ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi) residents in fear and panic,” Gapay said.

On Thursday night, the Davao City Police arrested Susukan at the residence of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari at the Yñigue Subdivision in Barangay Ma-a.

DCPO director, Col. Kirby Kraft said upon receiving an intelligence report that Susukan was in the city, they immediately secured his warrant of arrest from Sulu and Camp Crame.

He said police officers initiated the negotiation after finding out that Susukan was brought to the city to seek medical attention.

Misuari then facilitated the negotiation between the DCPO and Susukan which led to his peaceful arrest and transfer of custody.

Susukan has standing arrest warrants for 23 counts of murder, 10 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and six counts of frustrated murder.

He is also wanted in Malaysia for cross-border kidnappings on the east coast of Sabah and other criminal activities in Jolo, Sulu. (PNA)

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