MANILA, Philippines – Malaysia wants DNA proof Jemaah Islamiya leader Zulkifli bin Abdul, one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, is dead as Philippine authorities claim.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines admitted it had not seen Zulkifli’s body but still reported him among 15 bandits killed in a military airstrike on Barangay Duyan Kabau, Parang, Sulu on Feb 2, 2012.
Regional military spokesman Lt Col Randolph Cabangbang said soldiers were still combing the jungle camp for Zulkifli’s body, where 15 people were reportedly killed in the dawn air strike.
A local Malaysian newspaper reported that Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, the head of the agency which manages public safety and immigration, is liaising with Philippine counterparts to hand over a DNA sample from one of Sulkifli’s brothers.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col Arnulfo Burgos Jr earlier told Rappler, “We are soliciting the assistance of the local community and the families of the victims in locating the whereabouts of the cadavers so we can conduct DNA testing on them.”
The Home Affairs Minister is also requesting confirmation of the deaths of suspected militants Bacho and Jeknal Adil.
The FBI set a $5-M reward for Zulkifli’s capture.
String of aliases
The 46-year-old Malaysian has gone by a long list of aliases including: Malaysian has Marwan, Zulkifli Abd Hir, Zulkifli Bin Abdul Hir, Hulagu, Holagu, Lagu, Musa Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abdul Hir, Zulkifli bin Hir, Abdul Hir bin Zulkifli, Abduhir Bin Hir, Bin Abdul Hir Zulkifli, Zulkifli, Zulkifli Hir, Musa, Abdulhir Bin Hir, Ahmad Shobirin, Armand Escalante, Hassan, Hendri Lawi, Henri Lawi, Hogalu, Hugalu, Muslimin Abdulmotalib, Norhana Mohamad, Normina, Hashim, Omar Salem, Salim Alombra.
The FBI’s Most Wanted List says he studied engineering in the United States and that he trains terrorist groups, specifically the Abu Sayyaf Group, in bomb-making.
JI is a terrorist network with close ties to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda. It has been linked to one of Indonesia’s most deadly terrorist attacks, the October 2002 Bali bombings.
In October of 2010, the AFP prematurely claimed the death of 2 terrorist leaders and 3 bandits. Proof of identification is crucial. –Rappler.com