Aide of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon arrested in Zamboanga City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — A bomb expert and close aide of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was nabbed by a joint military and police force early Saturday morning in Sitio Niyog-Niyog, Barangay Mutim in Zamboanga City.

A statement from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said bomb-making materials were found on Hamsi Amajad Marani, who is now undergoing debriefing at the Zamboanga police office.

A report by Joint Task Force Zamboanga said Marani was spotted by a concerned citizen, who immediately notified authorities.

The miltary said Marani was trained by an Indonesian bomb expert from Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah and that he had been involved in military encounters with government forces in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan.

"This successful operation is done in close coordination with the members of the Zamboanga City Police Office," said Joint Task Force Zamboanga Commander Col. Leonel Nicolas. "The vigilant people of Zamboanga City will never allow any notorious group or individuals to thrive and stay within their peaceful and progressive place."

Western Mindanao Command head Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said the arrest will "somehow cripple" any possible support Marani is giving Hapilon, who the military said is still in Marawi.

Authorities attempted to arrest Hapilon in Marawi City on May 23, but were met by heavy resistance by fighters later identified as members of the Maute group.

Read: Gov't forces, Maute group clash in Marawi City

The ensuing firefight forced President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao.

Read: Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

A video released by the AFP on June 8 confirmed that Hapilon is collaborating with the Maute group.

WATCH: Maute, Hapilon plan Marawi terror attack

In addition, ISIS leadership in Syria is said to have designated Hapilon as its “emir” in Southeast Asia in 2016.

Related: Duterte: ISIS leader ordered terrorist activities in PH

Hapilon is also on the U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists, with a ₱5-million bounty on his head.

Duterte recently offered another ₱10-million reward for his arrest and placed ₱5 million each on the heads of the Maute brothers.

Read: AFP Chief: Duterte offers ₱10M bounty for Isnilon Hapilon