3 Abu Sayyaf Urban Terrorist Group members, arrested in QC

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PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa briefs the media on the arrest of the suspects on November 17, 2017 in Camp Crame.

 

JOINT operatives of the District Special Operations Unit (DSOU), District Intelligence Division (DID) and Talipapa Police Station (PS-3), of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

Counter-Terrorism Division (CTD) and other intelligence agencies arrested Friday, three Abu Sayyaf Group–Urban Terrorist group (ASG-UTG) members who were planning a terror attack in Metro Manila last November 10, 2017 in Brgy. Culiat Quezon City.

Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director, Police Chief Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar identified the suspects as Abdul Gaffar Jikiri alias Abu Bakar Jikiri, 19-year-old from Tuburan, Basilan; Alim Sabtalin, 19, from Lamitan, Basilan; and Sadam Jhofar, 24, also from Tuburan, Basilan.

The joint law enforcement operation on the ASG-UTG members was initiated following information that Jikiri was planning a terrorist attack in Metro Manila with the possible involvement of Sabtalin and Jhofar.

Prior to the arrest of the suspects, Jikiri was monitored by intelligence agents posting on his Facebook (FB) account hints of his plan to launch terrorist attacks in Metro Manila. He posted photos of high-powered firearms (HPFAs) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with a caption that they would be used to kill the kaffir (non-believers) and the munafiq (Muslim apostates). He also posted photos of targets including a mall and a park in Manila and photos of him and other armed youth.

The QCPD in coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation Counter Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD) and other law enforcement agencies immediately conducted a background investigation on Jikiri and found out that he is an ASG-UTG member under the Basilan-based ASG which is associated with the Maute ISIS-inspired terror group. It was also found out that he left Basilan on October 9, 2017, bound for Metro Manila via Zamboanga City.

Further investigation also revealed that Sabtalin and Jhofar, who arrived in Metro Manila earlier met with Jikiri. The QCPD and NBI-CTD tracked down Sabtalin and Jhofar which led the operatives to the Salaam Compound in Brgy. Culiat, where the three suspects were arrested through the support and cooperation of the Muslim community leaders.

Seized from Jikiri were a caliber .45, M1911 US Army pistol with 4 live ammunition, two 20 mm M-203 rifle grenades, and 6 cellular phones. Confiscated from Sabtalim were a 9mm pistol with 4 live ammunition and a cellular phone, while Sadam Jhofar was caught with a Colt caliber .45 M1911 pistol with 3 live ammunition.

The three were inquested by the Quezon City’s prosecutor and charged with violation of Section 28 (unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition) of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and also in relation to the 15 days gun ban period for ASEAN Summit 2017. Jikiri was also charged with violation of RA 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives).

PCSupt Eleazar said, “The arrest of the three suspects was part of the government’s continuing effort against terrorist groups, as well as the anti-criminality campaign of the PNP and the NBI. It was also part of the effort of the law enforcement and intelligence  community in securing the recently concluded ASEAN Summit.”

He also thanked the Muslim community in the Salaam area for their cooperation and full support by not tolerating any illegal activities such as terror attacks. (RBON)

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