Updated Apr 15, 2019, 1:05:44 PM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — The police apprehended a notorious member of the local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Quezon City, the city police director reported on Monday.
Quezon City Police District Director Joselito Esquivel said they caught 32 year-old Abuhair Kullim Indal or alias Annual Dasil and Abu Khair in his residence in Salam Compound, Barangay Culiat, Quezon City on Friday.
Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said Indal had arrest warrants against him related to seven separate criminal cases in Basilan. The suspect participated in the kidnapping incident involving 15 workers of the Golden Harvest Plantation in Barangay Tairan Lantawan, Basilan last June 11, 2001, Albayalde said.
He added that Indal was a trusted aide of ASG commander Furuji Indama.
Esquivel said the tribal leader of the compound reported that the suspect did not identify himself when he moved into the area over five weeks ago. He said they coordinated with the regional court in Isabela to verify the identity of the suspect which lead to his arrest.
The police director detailed that Indal was about to detonate a hand grenade when he was confronted by the police.
"He has (the) intention probably to preserve himself, not to be arrested, or blow himself in the process, but my men were fast enough to get the hand grenade before he could do that, and he is a very fanatic to his cause," Esquivel told reporters.
The QCPD director said the suspect did not reveal if there are other members of the ASG planning to sow terror in the region.
"When we arrested him we subjected (him) to interview but he's not budging and we're still investigating on that angle," he said. "He's just a person of interest wanted by the law nagkataon lang na [it just so happened that] his affiliation was Abu Sayyaf."
Albayalde said Indal will be brought to the Isabela Regional Trial Court for further proceedings.
The chief said the latest arrest of an Abu Sayyaf member in Metro Manila emphasized the impact of military and police presence in Mindanao, threatening terrorists to hide out in other regions.
"Lumalabas na, 'tong mga taong ito na feeling the pressure in Mindanao," Albayalde said.
[Translation: This is showing that the people are feeling the pressure in Mindanao.]
He maintained that they will continue to ensure safety in the region.