Philippines: Security forces arrest Abu Sayyaf Chief Leader's close aide

Based on the military intelligence reports, the detainee is one of the bomb experts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Security Forces of the Philippines, over the weekend, arrested the close in aide of terror leader Isnilon Hapilon from the village of Muti in Zamboanga City.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the media briefing identified the suspect as Hamsi Amajad Marani, also known as Hamsi, who is believed to be a close aide and look out messenger of Hapilon.

Based on the military intelligence reports, Marani is one of the bomb experts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the militant group that pledged allegiance to Daesh. Marani, who reportedly trained by Indonesian terrorist bomb expert, was arrested by the Philippine Army of Task Force Zamboanga in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Military sources claimed that they received information from a resident who spotted Marani at Muti, a coastal village in Zamboanga City. The security forces immediately responded and proceeded to the village to effect the arrest.

As the Southern Philippines is under the state of Martial Law, Filipino security forces can just arrest a rebellion suspect without a warrant of arrest issued by the court.

"The capture of Marani will now cripple any possible support to be given by Marani to Hapilon as he struggles to leave Marawi," West Mindanao Commander General Carlito Galvez, Jr, was quoted by Philippine media saying.

Found in the possession of Marani are materials used in making improvised explosive device. Marani was then brought to Philippine National Police undergoing further debriefing.

Hapilon was reported to be in Marawi, leading a group of a hundred armed militants battling Philippines soldiers. Military intelligence reported that he is trying to escape Marawi as a result of the series of airstrikes launched by the AFP. There were earlier reports that dozens of militants pretending to be internally displaced persons escaped Marawi as a result of the military pressure.