AFP, Malaysia boost border security vs Abu, JI
Roel Pareño ( - February 16, 2016 - 1:15am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Malaysian intelligence forces fortified their security watch against the Abu Sayyaf group and the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), groups that pass through the border between the two countries.

Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz, Western Mindanao Command chief, said they have been in close coordination with the Malaysian military and police forces in monitoring the activity of the terrorist groups utilizing the porous border.

“The Malaysian intelligence units are closely monitoring possible terrorist’s activity using the border and are in close coordination with the National Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to have exchanges of intelligence information,” Dela Cruz said.

The military official said security has been heightened following the spate of kidnapping incidents staged by the Abu Sayyaf group against at least five victims from Sabah since 2014.

The authorities of both countries are also monitoring the border being utilized by JI militants in slipping from Malaysia to Sulu or Basilan. 

The AFP earlier confirmed that at least three JI militants who escaped from a Malaysian raid fled to southern Philippines and established links with the Abu Sayyaf group.

The JI militants who sought refuge with the Abu Sayyaf group provided training in bomb making and jihad indoctrination.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hernando Iriberri said one of the three militants was killed in the military offensive last December in Al-Barka town, Basilan.

Iriberri the death of Mohammad Najib Hussein alias Abu Anas was positively confirmed by ground forces.

He said troops have been hunting down the two others believed to be hiding with the Abu Sayyaf group either in Basilan or Sulu.

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