ZAMBOANGA CITY — A joint police and military team arrested four suspected Abu Sayyaf bombers and seized explosives and bomb-making components in this southern port city, officials said Thursday.
Col. Thomas Joseph Martir, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the suspects were arrested in a law enforcement operation, through a search warrant, around 3 a.m. Thursday in a rented house in Manggal Drive, Barangay Baliwasan this city.
Martir identified the suspects as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail and Nash Amik, all residents of Sulu.
The search warrant for violation of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, was served following surveillance on the activities of the suspects, police said.
Baliwasan Barangay Chairperson Jamiely Czarina Cabato said the suspects were placed under surveillance as they were suspected to be dealing illegal drugs.
Cabato said their suspicion began when the suspects chose to stay at the house they were renting while the other residents in the area evacuated when a flash flood recently inundated the area.
Martir said the raiding team recovered from the suspects’ rented house the following: four non-electric blasting caps; one electric blasting cap; five 40-millimeter (MM) ammunition; detonating cord; 500 milliliter plastic bottle filled with ammonium nitrate fuel oil; one cellular phone fashioned out as a triggering device; electric tape; electric wire (stranded with different colors); magnetic wire; common nail; and, bamboo container filled with white granules believed to be ammonium nitrate.
He said the arrested suspects are believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf’s Urban Terrorist Group (UTG) operating in Basilan, Sulu, and this city. Ely Dumaboc / PNA – northboundasia.com