ZAMBOANGA CITY – Military and police operatives arrested two suppliers of bomb-making components to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu province, military officials said Monday.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander, identified the arrested suspects as Akkang Suraili Omaron, a resident of Barangay Tulay, Jolo, and Mardan Dammang Jamasali of Barangay Latih, Patikul.
Gonzales said the two suspects were arrested in a buy-bust operation around 2:20 p.m. Sunday in Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo, the capital town of Sulu.
“The capture of the suppliers is a significant development as the components they trade are really devastating if assembled as a bomb. These people who make bombings possible are as twisted as the bombers themselves. Fortunately, we — the police and the military — are backed by the local government and the masses in the province. All of us are hoping and optimistic that we will soon neutralize remaining Abu Sayyaf Group leaders in Sulu,” Gonzales added,” Gonzales said.
He said seized from the possession of the two suspects were marked money, ammunition of caliber .45 pistol and improvised explosive device (IED) components to include several blasting caps, assorted sizes of time fuse cord, about a kilogram of suspected ammonium nitrate, 81-millimeter (mm) mortar shell, nails, marbles, aluminum pipes, and wire switches.
He said a civilian tipped off personnel of the Army’s 15th Civil-Military Operations (15CMO) Battalion which eventually led to the buy-bust operation.
Lt. Col. Nelicar Corsino, 15CMO battalion commander, said Omaron and Jamsali were the suppliers of IED components used during the August 24, 2020 Jolo twin blast.
Corsino said charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives will be filed against the two arrested suspects. (PNA)