Sayyaf’s Indonesian trainee rescued in Basilan

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

LAMITAN CITY, Philippines — An Indonesian trained by the Abu Sayyaf bandit group to carry out bomb attacks has been rescued by military troopers in Sumisip, Basilan.

The foreigner, whose name was withheld because he is a minor, was found in Barangay Guiong on Saturday, according to Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, head of the Western Mindanao Command.

Troopers from the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion were tracking down Abu Sayyaf subleaders Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, alias Mundi, and Pasil Bayali, alias Kera, when they stumbled upon the terrorists’ hideout in Sitio Lobloban.

Mundi, who was linked to international terrorist organization Islamic State, has been tagged as the mastermind of several bomb attacks in Mindanao.

The minor is reportedly a son of the late Jolo Cathedral suicide bomber Rullie Rian Zeke, alias Abbang Rullie.

Twenty-three people were killed and more than a hundred were wounded in the Jolo bomb attack that occurred in January 2019.

The military said Mundi took the minor with him when he fled Sulu.

Col. Frederick Sales, acting commander of the Army’s 101st Brigade and Joint Task Force Basilan, said Mundi abandoned the minor during a military operation in Sulu.

“Troopers brought the Indonesian to a hospital for medical check-up,” Sales said.

The minor’s two sisters were rescued in separate police and military operations in Sulu three years ago.

Galido said the rescue of the siblings stopped Sawadjaan from staging bombing attacks.

“He is still young, and we are hopeful that with proper guidance and counseling, he will be able to walk back on the right path and build a better future,” Galido said, referring to the Indonesian

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