Alleged mastermind of 2018 Cotabato City blast dies in police clash

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — The Philippine National Police said the alleged mastermind of the shopping mall bombing in Cotabato City in 2018 died after an encounter with local authorities early Tuesday morning.

In a statement, the PNP said Abraham Abad Abdulrahman (aka Abu Suffian) died in a gun battle with a police team executing a search warrant in Barangay Bagua 2, Cotabato City at 1:30 a.m.

Allan Edwin Boncavil, acting presiding judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 19, ordered the procedure be conducted in the location where Jasmiyah Camsa Imbrahim, who is believed to be the wife of Abu Suffian, resides.

Police said the suspect resisted during the search, and was armed with a caliber 45 pistol and a hand grenade. Meanwhile, his wife was able to escape, they said.

The raiding team recovered a 60-millimeter high-explosive mortar projectile, improvised explosive device (IED) components, and a motorcycle.

Six minors were also rescued from the area, while another woman found in the house was held in custody.

According to police records, Abu Suffian was a member of the ISIS-inspired Dawlah Islamiya and had IED training under the late Mohammad Jaafar Maguid (Tokboy Maguid) of the terror group Ansar al-Khilafah Philippines.

He was considered to be one of the masterminds of the South Seas Mall bombing on New Year’s Eve of 2018. He also took part in the sieges of Butig and Marawi City in Lanao del Sur with the Maute Group.

After his escape from a military-police operation in Marawi City, he operated under Salahuddin Hassan and IED expert Abu Naim, under the direct supervision of Abu Turaife of the DI-BIFF for whom he was purchasing IED components and medical supplies.