• Local jihadist bomber arrested

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    COTABATO CITY: Combined security forces in Maguindanao arrested on Tuesday a suspected bomber belonging to jihadist Khilafah Islamiyah Movement (KIM) with a P1.3 million bounty on his head.

    Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, police chief in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), identified the suspect as Abi Salman alias Sauman Usman and Nanam.

    Delos Reyes said the suspect is believed to be a nephew of most wanted Abdul Basit Usman, who has ties with Southeast Asian terror organization Jema’ah Islamiyah (JI), citing intelligence reports.

    Salman sustained a wound in the right thigh when he resisted and tried to grab the M-16 rifle of one of the arresting operatives. He was brought to a hospital and was expected to be transferred to Manila on Wednesday.

    The suspect was arrested based on a warrant issued by Judge Rogelio R. Narisma of Regional Trial Court Branch 23 in Kidapawan City on February 9, 2009 for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and attempted murder.

    Operatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group, PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group, Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion and Maguindanao Police Provincial Office took part in the operation.

    According to intelligence community, the suspect is a member of KIM and JI. He also joined the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF).

    KIM also known as Khilafah Islamiyah Mindanao-Black Flag Movement (KIM-BFM) is striving for an establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the country and is linked to bombings in North and Central Mindanao.

    The KIM and BIFF along with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Basit Usman’s group have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) that had established an Islamic caliphate or Khilafah Islamiyah in Iraq and Syria.

    Three months ago, the same lead group who arrested Salman, also successfully seized suspected KIM member Saad Giad, who is connected with Al-Khobar Group and wanted for string of kidnapping cases in Central Mindanao.

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