ASG member tagged in mass kidnappings nabbed
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2014 - 4:41pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Police intelligence and combat forces captured an Abu Sayyaf suspect, tagged in the mass abduction of teachers, students, and a Catholic priest 14 years ago, during an operation past Monday midnight in Isabela City, Basilan.

The captured suspect was identified as Salih Ali alias Abu Ali, who has a standing warrant of arrest issued by Basilan Judge Leo Jay Prinsipe with nine counts of kidnapping with serious illegal detention. 

Senior Superintendent Jose Bayani Gucela, chief of the Police Community Relation of Police Regional Office 9, said Ali was captured by the joint police and naval intelligence backed by composite police Public Safety Battalion at Barangay Panigayan about 12:18 a.m.

Ali was the fifth Abu Sayyaf suspect to be arrested within three weeks of police and military operation against the militants in Zamboanga and Basilan areas since last month.

Gucela said the captured suspect was immediately brought and temporarily detained at the headquarters of the Regional Investigation Division in this city for his primary involvement in the abduction of workers of Golden Harvest Plantation in Barangay Tairan, Lantawan town, Basilan in 2001.

Based on the tactical interrogation and intelligence dossier, Ali was identified to be member of the late Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Hamsiraji Sali, whose group operates the kidnap for ransom group in the province and nearby Zamboanga peninsula.

Sali’s group, along with the faction of the late Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffi Janjalani and Aldam Tilao alias Abu Sabaya perpetrated the March 2000 mass abduction of teachers, students and martyred Catholic priest Fr. Rhoel Gallardo at Claret School in Tumahubong, Sumisip town. 

The three militant leaders wanted by the Philippine and United States (US) governments, who carried up to $5-million bounty on their heads, were neutralized in separate military operations in Basilan and Sulu after they staged the kidnapping of 20 tourists, including three US citizens, from Palawan and brought them to Basilan in May 2001.

Police said the brother of Ali identified as Botchoy was also killed in the late ‘90s during the military operation in Puno Muhaji, a notorious hideout and training ground in the mountains of Maluso town.

ABU ALI ABU SABAYA ABU SAYYAF ALI BARANGAY PANIGAYAN BARANGAY TAIRAN BASILAN BASILAN AND SULU BASILAN JUDGE LEO JAY PRINSIPE CLARET SCHOOL GOLDEN HARVEST PLANTATION
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