Posted to FMT News (Jun 26): US-Nur Misuari link in Sulu attack?
According to an ex-Sabah police special branch deputy chief, the information in the intercepted conversation was crucial for the country’s security.
KOTA KINABALU: A witness has told the Kota Kinabalu High Court that a policeman had informed a local male Sabahan that the Sulu intruders involved in the Feb 11 invasion were supported by the United States of America and the former leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Nur Misuari.
The witness, who is under protection, said Detective Corporal Hassan Ali Basari was one of two voices in an intercepted telephone conversation in connection with the Feb 11 Sulu invasion in Lahad Datu. The witness said he was sure it was Hassan’s voice because the latter had identified himself in the conversation.
Hassan, 55, from Semporna, is charged with voluntarily withholding information on terrorism activities at the office of the Special Branch chief, Lahad Datu police headquarters, between January and March 3 this year. The charge, under Section 130M of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to seven years or a fine or both upon conviction.
According to the witness, on March 2 this year, a Sabahan contacted Hassan at 7.37pm to ask whether a war had started and Hassan confirmed it. The witness said based on the telephone conversation, which was translated, the Sabahan said he had contacted the Philippines and was informed that more than 400 people would enter Sabah through Bongao, in the Philippines.
In the intercepted telephone conversation on March 3, the Sabah man contacted Hassan again at 9.28am to convey further information he had obtained via the internet. The informant told Hassan that the internet report had stated that the intruders would come in thousands and required huge funds.
Reporting on today’s hearing Borneoinsider.com noted that former Sabah police special branch deputy chief, SACP Zulkifli Abd Aziz, who is now with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), told the court that the information in the intercepted telephone conversation between the accused and the Sabah man was crucial for the country’s security.
He said that when he was the Sabah police special branch deputy chief, Hassan was also involved in intelligence operations on threats by the Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu.
Zulkifli said the accused was selected for the job because he was conversant in Bajau and Suluk and had many friends from the two ethnic groups in Lahad Datu.
However, he denied having received any information on the threats by the Sulu terrorists or terrorist activities in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, from the accused.
Zulkifli said any information on threats against the country’s security obtained by the Special Branch policemen at the district level had to be reported immediately to the District Special Branch head. The trial before Justice P Ravinthran continues tomorrow.
However, Luwaran did not get details on how the instruction of the MILF leadership is to be carried out and where it came from the different levels of the Front.
The two sisters were shooting for an indie film about the Sultanate of Sulu when the abduction took place. Reports identified two of the kidnappers as Aljini Mundo alias Ninok Sapari and Bensaudi Mundoc, who are linked to “Lucky 9” group of the Abu Sayyaf.
An indie film is an independently produced film with a minimal shooting budget. The producers often must procure all of the financing, which means investing in the film themselves or finding outside backers. The director usually agrees to waive his or her usual union-mandated fee or offers to work for a percentage of the film's profits, if there are any. Similarly, the writers, production staff and actors involved all agree to work for minimal union scale wages or other compensation.
The victims were on board a passenger jeep enroute to Jolo after they came from Tambang village in Patikul. However upon reaching in the village of Liang in Patikul the Abu Sayyaf forcibly took them towards the forested part of the town.
The victims’ father was Ustadz Abdulbasset Bansil, now deceased, of Sultan Sa Barongis in Maguindanao, while the mother is an Algerian woman, whom the former married while he was studying in one of the universities in Egypt in the 60s and 70s. He was a former classmate of MNLF foreign affairs chair, Ustadz Abdulbaqui Abubakar, a close associate of MNLF chieftain Nur Misuari, and the late MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim.
Bansil, who also spoke English and French, was a member of the Shariah Bar in the Philippines. He was a highly travelled man, but remained not rich during his lifetime. The family has a meagre income to this day.