From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14): Abu man employed as mall guard nabbed
Joint police and military operatives have arrested a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf involved in the kidnapping of 21 people, mostly foreigners, 17 years ago from a diving resort in Malaysia, an official announced Friday.
Supt. Diomarie Albarico, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), identified the arrested suspect as Abdulmubin Salahuddin, who works as a security detailed at one of the local shopping malls.
Albarico said Salahuddin was arrested by joint police and military operations led by Chief Insp. Edilberto Alvarez, ZCPO intelligence chief, around 10:45 p.m. Thursday at Sitio Callejon, Barangay Guiwan, this city.
He said the arresting team seized from the suspect’s possession a sling bag containing one fragmentation grenade.
He said investigation showed that Salahuddin was involved in the kidnapping of 21 people, consisting of 10 Europeans and 11 Asians, on April 23, 2000 in the dive resort island of Sipadan, Malaysia.
It was the first kidnapping the Abu Sayyaf bandits staged in a foreign land. They herded the hostages to the province of Sulu and released them in batches following payments of huge amount of ransom.
Albarico said Salahuddin is believed to be supplying firearms and ammunition to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) based on the province of Sulu.
He said it was further gathered that Salahuddin managed to work as a security guard in one of the local agencies since the suspect was able to acquire license as well as other pertinent documents such as clearances.
Salahuddin, who was detained, denied being an ASG member citing he has no derogatory record as shown by the clearances issued to him.