Get Sabah Raiders!

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - Front Page -

THE PHILIPPINES is hunting down at least 23 people who were identified and wanted by Malaysian authorities for the string of ransom kidnappings and attacks at sea off Sabah.

Six of the 23 individuals, mostly Abu Sayyaf members, have arrest warrants against them in the Philippines, and that they and 15 others are being pursued by law enforcement and milithe tary authorities in the hinterlands of Sulu and Basilan provinces, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur also said.

The six individuals are Apo Mike, alias Majan Sahidjuan; Hatib Hayan, alias Sawadjaan; Alden Bagde, alias Sayning; Muamar Askali, alias Abu Rami; Idang Susukan and Alhabsy Misaya.

Philippine authorities have neutralized the notorious Muktadil Brothers Gang with the deaths of Mindas Muktadil in May 2015, and Nikson and Brown Muktadil in September 2016. Khadafy, one of the individuals named by Malaysian authorities, was arrested in November 2015 and is detained at the Zamboanga Del Norte Provincial Jail.

The Eastern Sabah Security Command recently released the names of 23 people sought for involvement in kidnapping incidents in the coastlines and waters of eastern Sabah.

The 16 people who are at large and being pursued by Philippine authorities are Salvador, alias Badong Muktadil; Salip Sosong, alias Mohamad Apsa Abdulla; Halipa, Ibrahim, Sabri Madrasul, alias Salip Jul; Las Pangit, Marajan Asiri, Raden Abuh, Bocoi, Sangbas, Berong Sairol, alias Boy Master; Bensaudi Sairol, alias Boy Pangit; Boy Intel, Atai Susukan, Durog Hussein and Saidul Idul.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak agreed to deepen collaboration in stemming the kidnapping incidents in the Sulusulawesi Seas.

Just early in November, Abu Sayyaf rebels killed a woman, Sabine Merz, 56, and snatched her German companion Jurgen Kantner, 70, after attacking their yacht off Sabah, just several nautical miles from the southern province of Tawi-tawi also in the Muslim autonomous region.

The woman was naked when found in the boat could had been raped. A shotgun was also found near her body. The Western Mindanao Command tagged Abu Sayyaf subleader Muamar Askali after he phoned a media organization in Zamboanga City to say that they are holding Kantner. Askali also demanded P500 million for Kantner’s safe release.

In April 2014, Askali’s group also kidnapped two German yachters - Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Henrike Diesen, 55, while heading to Sabah from a holiday in the Philippines.

Askali originally demanded from Germany – on top of the P250 million ransoms - to cease all support to U.S. coalition campaign against ISIS which is fighting for Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The Abu Sayyaf had threatened to kill the German couple if the military launches a combat operation against the notorious group tied to the ISIS.

The duo was freed six months later after the German government paid the ransoms delivered by Filipino security officials. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding more a dozen Malaysian, Indonesian and Vietnamese sailors kidnapped this year in Sabah and Basilan.

The Abu Sayyaf group, formed by Ustadz Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani in 1992, continues to recruit members to fight the government in their attempt to set up a strict Islamic state in Mindanao.

It now has hundreds of members in the Muslim autonomous region and the military failed to stop the growing influence and violent campaigns of the rebel group because it did not sustain the combat operations needed to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf in the restive region. Much of the military’s huge budget goes to combat operations and its modernization program.

An ISIS propaganda photo shows some of its fighters in Iraq.

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