Thursday, May 4, 2017

Slain suspect was a member of Abu Sayyaf group: police

From the Mindanao Times (May 4): Slain suspect was a member of Abu Sayyaf group: police

AUTHORITIES yesterday confirmed that the slain alleged terrorist last May 2 was an active member of the Abu Sayyaf group.
City police spokesperson, Sr. Insp. Maria Theresita Gaspan, told reporters yesterday during the AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel that the Intelligence Division confirmed the identity of the suspect who went by the name alias Bin Laden.

“However, we could not determine his identity as of now because no family has come forward to claim the body in the funeral parlor,” Gaspan said.

The suspect was said to have transported components of improvised explosive device (IED) into the city but was intercepted at checkpoint while on board a motorcycle along with another passenger. He was killed in a shootout with authorities around 3 a.m. on May 2 in Barangay Magtuod, Talomo District. A .38 revolver and grenade were recovered from his possession.

Gaspan said they are still conducting follow-up investigation if the attempt of the suspect to enter the city is related to the arrest of Supt. Maria Christina Nobleza, the police officer who allegedly tried to help her terrorist boyfriend evade authorities in Clarin, Bohol.

But she quickly added that they received information about members of the Abu Sayyaf group who will enter Davao City. These members were identified as Saqdat, Omar and Bin Laden. The slain suspect was accompanied by two others who managed to escape.
She said the successful operation was “a consequence of our intensified intelligence monitoring and the information gathering from other intelligence community.”

Meanwhile, Benito De Leon, chief of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), said they could not yet draw conclusions about the latest incident, specifically on whether or not Davao City is the target of Abu Sayyaf.

“Although the threats are there, and our police and military have been preparing for everything,” he said, adding that the intelligence community is also continuously monitoring internal and external threats.

Meanwhile, Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said that the terrorist group is always seeking to take advantage of any gaps in security mechanisms of the city. “The bottom line is how fast the security forces can react, of course, with the help of the community,” he added.

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