ZAMBOANGA CITY: A key member of Abu Sayyaf who was involved in a spate of kidnapping and murder cases in Sabah, Malaysia was killed after he tried to escape while in police custody in Tawi-Tawi over the weekend.
Malaysia’s The Star Online reported that Mobin Hailil alias Kahumbo, who was arrested in Bongao town on August 26 was killed after allegedly grabbing the gun of one of his escorts while on their way to jail from a court appearance on August 29.
The same report quoted former Abu Sayyaf hostage and Mindanao State University lecturer Octavio Dinampo as saying that Hailil was “an intelligence operative for Abu Sayyaf, whose main duty is to identify possible kidnap targets ”.
“As an urban operative, he would be familiar with places like Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Semporna,” said Dinampo, who was kidnapped in June 2008.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abd Rahman earlier tagged Hailil along with brothers Nilson and Badong Muktadil as responsible for a series of kidnappings in Sabah.
They were believed to be involved in the April 2 kidnapping of Chinese tourist, Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino worker Marcy Darawan, 40, from the Singamata Reef Resort off Semporna in Sabah.
Hailil is also being linked to the killing of a Malaysian policeman Kpl Rajah Jamuan, 32, on Mabul Water Bungalow Resort during an Abu Sayyaf raid in July this year.
Rajah’s companion Kons Zakiah Alejp, 26, was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf and is still being held for ransom in southern Philippines.
Eastern Sabah Security Command Intelligence Director Datuk Ahmad Nadzer Nordin said at least 14 groups from southern Philippines are involved in cross-border kidnappings in Sabah.