Malaysian security forces, backed by intelligence from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), capture 2 Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders, 6 followers

Cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Eastern Sabah Southern Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia led to the apprehension of 2 Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leaders and 6 of their followers in Sabah on Saturday, May 8.

Arrested in the joint anti-terror operation were Sansibar Bensio, and Mabar Binda. Both are sub-leaders of the Eastern Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group.

Other suspected ASG members apprehended were: Muayyar Binda; alias Sansis; and alias Firdaus, members under ASG leader Mabar Binda; Lugah Sanchez, and Bonijar Samsula, both members under the late ASG leader Juhurim Hussein (based in Patikul, Sulu); and Alim Sukarno, a member under Sansibar Bensio.

Major General William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said Bensio, and Binda (the known successor of his father Hatib Munap Binda) are both sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-Ransom Group based on the eastern/second district of Sulu.

“They are involved in the series of armed confrontations with the AFP including the encounter on July 2011 at Sitio Tubig Magtuh, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu wherein the late 2nd Lieutenant Michael Baladad of the Philippine Marines was beheaded,” said Gonzales.

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