Abu Sayyaf Group

Egyptian child terrorist, Indonesian surrender to military in Sulu

Merlyn Manos

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Egyptian child terrorist, Indonesian surrender to military in Sulu
(1st UPDATE) The military says the young Egyptian's mother was a suicide bomber, and his stepfather and two older brothers were killed in fierce clashes with the military

ILIGAN, Philippines – A 13-year-old Egyptian terrorist turned himself in to the military in Sulu province on Wednesday afternoon, June 14, years after being orphaned due to extremism. He surrendered alongside a 27-year-old Indonesian who had become a terrorist at the age of 15.

According to the military, the Egyptian boy had been a member of the notorious Abu Sayyaf, an extremist organization linked to international terrorist networks such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The group is known for its extremist ideology and involvement in criminal activities including kidnappings, bombings, and attacks, primarily in the Sulu archipelago and Basilan.

Lieutenant General Roy Galido, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said the surrender of the young foreigners indicated progress in the government’s campaign against extremism, particularly targeting the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu and Basilan.

Major Andrew Linao, the spokesman for Wesmincom, said the Egyptian and Indonesian surrendered to the Army’s 1103rd Infantry Brigade at around 2:30 pm on Wednesday. They had been listed by the military as priority targets.

Linao said the boy’s family had brought him to Sulu in 2017. He was accompanied then by his stepfather, mother, and two elder brothers who had entered the country as tourists via Manila.

The boy informed the military that his entire family joined the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan that same year, and they relocated to Sulu the following year to join the late ASG leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Sawadjaan, a preacher who served as emir of ISIS in the Philippines, died a few days after sustaining wounds during a fierce encounter with government troops in Patikul, Sulu, in 2020.

According to the military, the boy’s mother, Reda Mohammad Mahmud, carried out a suicide bombing attack on a military checkpoint in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu, on September 8, 2019.

His stepfather, Abduramil, and brother Abdurahman were killed in a clash with government troops in Barangay Kan Islam, Indanan, Sulu, on November 7, 2019.

His other brother, Yusof, was killed in an encounter with government troops in Igasan, Patikul, Sulu, on April 17, 2021.

The military said the Egyptian boy had engaged in armed confrontations in Sulu since the age of 10, sustaining injuries to his head and right forearm.

The boy, speaking in the Tausug dialect, expressed resentment towards his mother and brothers for involving him in terrorism when he surrendered, Linao said.

The child said his family had misled him, making him believe that their trip to the Philippines was simply for vacation purposes.

Together with the 27-year-old Ellam, a former sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu who took orders from the late Radullan Sahiron, the boy surrendered with their M16 rifle and M16A1 rifles, as well as ammunition.

They are currently undergoing debriefing and were presented to Colonel Christopher Tampus, commander of the 1103rd Infantry Brigade, at Camp Bud Datu in Tagbak, Indanan town, Sulu.

Major General Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, attributed the surrender to increased pressure on the Abu Sayyaf resulting from intensified intelligence operations by the military in Sulu and enhanced collaboration among local leaders and stakeholders in Indanan town in the fight against the terrorist organization.

Wives and a young widow

Meanwhile, police and soldiers arrested the wives of an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and a young widow in Basilan on Thursday night, June 15.

Colonel Frederick Sales, the commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, identified the women as Marilyn Lasigan Bayali, also known as Nuray Fernandez, Madarang Jahirul Bayali, also known as Rashmiya Ordonez, and a 20-year-old named Nurmina Janatul, also known as Anisa.

Marilyn and Madarang, both in their 40s, are married to Pasil Bayali, a sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

According to Major Linao, the women were apprehended during a search conducted by authorities at a residence in the village of Lower Lanote in Isabela City, Basilan. The search was based on a warrant issued for their violation of laws pertaining to the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Linao said the house belonged to Julhaur Lasigan Bayali, an alleged ASG member under Pasil.

During the search, authorities found an M16A1 rifle, an 81 mm mortar, blasting caps, and other materials used in the production of improvised explosive devices, along with additional ammunition. – Rappler.com

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