“Today’s executive order is the most significant update of terrorist designation... since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and will enable the US to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorists organizations and those who trained to commit acts of terrorism,” the US State Department said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
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Abu leader Sawadjaan on global terror list
Roel Pareño, Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, said to be the new emir of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, has been included in the US State Department’s list of specially designated global terrorists.

Twelve other terrorists based in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and West Africa are also on the list.

“Today’s executive order is the most significant update of terrorist designation... since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and will enable the US to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorists organizations and those who trained to commit acts of terrorism,” the US State Department said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The US government tagged Sawadjaan as the mastermind in the Jolo Cathedral bombing in January that left 23 people dead and 109 wounded.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines also identified Sawadjaan as the brains behind the twin suicide bombings at a military camp in Indanan, Sulu last June 28.

Probers are looking into Sawadjaan’s hand in the death of a foreign-looking person believed to be a woman who detonated a bomb while attempting to attack a military detachment in Indanan, Sulu on Sunday.

Slain Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon had been earlier placed on the list.

The US government “will continue to aggressively use all levers of American powers, including financial sanctions, to target these international terrorists as well as those who enable, facilitate and finance their heinous acts against innocent civilians across the globe,” the US State Department said.

Bomb maker killed

Meanwhile, Sawadjaan’s younger brother Nanz, an alleged Abu Sayyaf bomb maker, was killed while two soldiers were wounded in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday. 

Nanz was said to be involved in the manufacture of explosives used by suicide bombers at the Jolo Cathedral and a military camp in Indanan. Soldiers recovered his AK 47 rifle. 

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said government troopers overrun an Abu Sayyaf camp in Sitio Tubig Pansol, Barangay Langhub following the clash.  

Encinas said personnel of the 41st Infantry Battalion encountered around 40 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Almujer Yadah, Ben Tattoh and Apo Mike at about 11:39 a.m. 

The wounded soldiers were brought to a military hospital at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo for treatment. 

“Relentless pursuit operations are ongoing to neutralize fleeing terrorists,” Encinas said.

ABU SAYYAF SLAMIC STATE
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