Notorious Abu Sayyaf sub-leader killed in Sulu, says military
MANILA, Philippines – The military said a sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) notorious in the Philippines and Malaysia was killed in Sulu Saturday night, August 12, when the navy intercepted his boat in the town of Parang.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the death of Badong Muktadil weakened the capability of the bandit group to conduct kidnapping and terror attacks. His body was brought to a hospital in Jolo, Sulu.
"The neutralization of Badong is another big setback on the Abu Sayyaf Group particularly on their kidnapping and terroristic activities making the residents in Sulu felt some sort of relief from the threat posed by Badong's group," Sobejana said on Sunday, August 13.
Muktadil and his men are behind the following attacks:
- The November 2013 abduction of Taiwanese national Chang An Wei at Pon Pon Island Resort in Sabah and murder of her male companion (READ: Taiwan woman in fatal Malaysia kidnapping returns home)
- The February 2015 sea jacking of Vietnamese vessel MV Giang Hai off Pearl Bank in Tawi-Tawi
Muktadil and his men have 5 standing warrants of arrest in the Philippines for kidnapping, illegal detention, and murder, according to Sobejana.
"They are also wanted by the Malaysian authorities for their involvement in sea jacking, attacks on foreign vessels and abductions at the maritime borders of Tawi-Tawi and Sabah," Sobejana said.
Sobejana said the successful interception was prompted by reports from local residents who saw Muktadil and his men board a Jungkong type boat. A firefight erupted at sea off the coast of barangay Silangka.
The Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu is led by Radullon Sahiron, a faction notorious for kidnap-for-ransom activities. (READ: 5 operations vs Abu Sayyaf that won medals for soldiers)
It is the Basilan faction led by Isnilon Hapilon is linked with the international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS) although the Sulu faction also uses ISIS links as propaganda to increase ransom demands for foreign hostages.
Hapilon joined in May another ISIS-linked group, Maute Group, in Lanao del Sur to attack Marawi City. The battle continues to rage nearly 3 months since the clashes erupted on May 23. (READ: How a military raid triggered Marawi attacks)