• Terror group leader in Mindanao arrested

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    Security forces have captured a top Islamic militant tagged as behind in deadly bombings in Central Mindanao in the past seven years, police officials said Thursday.

    The director of the PNP Intelligence Group (IG), Chief Supt. Abelardo Villacorta said Jabide Abdul alias Zabide/Beds, a senior leader of the Al-Khobar group, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by a police team in Barangay Titulok, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat.

    Villacorta said Jabide had outstanding warrants for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, multiple attempted murder and destruction of property.

    The Departments of National Defense and Interior and Local Government set a reward of P3.3 million for information leading to Jabide’s arrest.

    Police said the Al-Khobar Group is behind the bombing attacks in Mindanao that killed at least 31 people and injured 145 others.

    The attacks include the bombing in Makilala town in North Cotabato on October 10, 2006 that killed six people and wounded 40 others, the April 2, 2008 bombing of a bus in Digos City that killed six people and wounded 30 others and the June 2008 bombing of a bus at a terminal in Davao del Sur that killed 10 people and wounded 14 others.

    Villacorta said the Al-Khobar targeted local bus companies and power and transmission lines of National Grid Corporations of the Philippines (NGCP) in North Cotabato.

    He described the group as extortionists believed to be based in the marshlands of Maguindanao.

    The group was allegedly created in support of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and Foreign Militant Jihadists (FMJ).

    Before the group carries out an attack, it demands money from its intended target. If the money is not paid, the attack is carried out.

    ANTHONY VARGAS

     

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