‘Abu Sayyaf on recruitment spree’
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2016 - 9:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Abu Sayyaf bandits have been recruiting new members in Sulu, according to a military official. 

At a press briefing at the Western Mindanao Command on Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu, said a group led by Alhabsi Misaya Arrojado is reportedly offering P30,000 to each of the recruits in the towns of Kalinggalang Kaluang, Luuk and Panamao. 

Arrojado said the group has so far recruited 15 persons.

He said they also received reports that the bandits have been harassing villagers to force them to join their group.

“We urge concerned local officials to tell their people not to be lured by the promises of the Abu Sayyaf,” Arrojado said.

Kidnap victims

Arrojado said ground troops have confirmed that the group of Radulan Sahiron is holding four of the eight remaining hostages of the Abu Sayyaf, including Dutch birdwatcher Elwold Horn.

He said there have been no sightings of the two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina who were taken from a resort on Samal Island in September.

Extortion

Col. Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Group Basilan head, said recent bombings in Mindanao are believed to be part of the extortion activities of the Abu Sayyaf.

“Especially now that their source of funding was cut due to the series of military operations that led to the neutralization of a foreigner in their ranks,” Bautista said, referring to Malaysian jihadist Mohammad Najib Hussein alias Abu Anas.

Hussein was among the 26 militants killed in the military operations in Al-Barka, Basilan last month.

“That had a big effect on their foreign funding… They resort to extortion and bombings to scare the people,” Bautista said.

Surrender

Meanwhile, Bautista said seven Abu Sayyaf bandits led by a certain Sulaiman Kasaran surrendered to Lt. Col. Enerito Lebeco in Sitio Camalig, Barangay Bohe Pahu in  Ungkaya Pukan town on Monday.

Kasaran, his three sons and three others, who used to be part of the group led by Nurhassan Jamiri and Furuji Indama, were presented in ceremonies held at the 104th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Barangay Tabiawan.

“This the first time that members of the Abu Sayyaf surrendered with their intention to be integrated with mainstream society,” Bautista said.

ABU ABU ANAS ABU SAYYAF ACIRC ALAN ARROJADO ALHABSI MISAYA ARROJADO ARROJADO BARANGAY BOHE PAHU BARANGAY TABIAWAN BAUTISTA ELWOLD HORN
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