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Charges readied vs alleged BIFF bomb maker

Authorities are verifying information that the suspect, Mahdi Abdullah, is also a motorcycle hitman for the BIFF.
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Police are preparing charges against an alleged bomb maker arrested in Salibo town in Maguindanao on Tuesday.
 
Mahdi Abdullah, who belongs to a faction in the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters under Imam Bongos, was arrested in Barangay Sambulawan, Datu Salibo by personnel of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion, the 22nd Mechanized Infantry Company, the Maguindanao provincial police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
 
Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao provincial police director, told The STAR by phone Thursday morning that Abdullah will be prosecuted for possession of explosives and illegal drugs.
 
Investigators are now validating information from barangay officials and Abdullah’s relatives that he is also a motorcycle-riding BIFF “hitman” responsible for the murder of more than a dozen off-duty soldiers and police officers since late 2015.
 

Mahdi Abdullah, who belongs to a faction in the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters under Imam Bongos, was arrested by police and Army personnel.

“We are thankful to our counterparts in the Philippine Army, the CIDG and all the barangay leaders and local officials who cooperated in locating this BIFF member in Salibo,” Tello said.
 
Local officials have confirmed that Abdullah is a henchman of the BIFF’s Imam Bongos, who is also a fugitive from the law.
 
Capt. Arvin Encinas, public affairs chief of the 6th Infantry Division, said the joint military-police operation was assisted by local commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
 
The government and the MILF are bound by a 1997 interim pact, the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities, obliging both sides to mutually cooperate in neutralizing terrorists and criminal gangs in conflict flashpoint areas in Mindanao.
 
All three factions in the BIFF use the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as revolutionary banners.
 
Encinas said Intelligence units of 6th ID are now helping the Maguindanao provincial police and the CIDG-ARMM gather information for charges against Abdullah.
 
Abdullah was implicated in a series of roadside bombings in Maguindanao from January to September this year.
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