Abu Sayyaf operative nabbed at airport

By Benjamin Pulta

August 29, 2023, 3:11 pm

<p>National Bureau of Investigation <em>(File photo)</em></p>

National Bureau of Investigation (File photo)

MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced on Tuesday the arrest of an extremist, who allegedly took part in the 2011 attack on the Philippine Marines in Patikul, Sulu.

In a statement, the NBI-International Airport Investigation Division (IAID) said Abu Sayyaf Group member Mohammad Maca-Antal Said (a.k.a. Amah Maas), who has an outstanding warrant of arrest for kidnapping with homicide, was apprehended at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Aug. 10.

Bureau of Immigration personnel intercepted Said, who was bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after seeing the Interpol Red Notice.

He was then turned over to NBI-IAID who unearthed the existing warrant.

The red notice is issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence on serious ordinary law crimes such as murder, rape and fraud.

Said was one of the suspects charged in the beheading of two Marines during an encounter between the Marine Battalion Landing Team II and the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul on July 28, 2011.

Seven Marines were killed and 26 others were wounded during that encounter.

The NBI said Said was also charged with 25 counts of frustrated murder, three murder cases, kidnapping with murder, kidnapping with homicide and two counts of kidnapping with serious illegal detention.

In November 2022, authorities also arrested Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Ibrahim Asara in Jolo, Sulu, who has been hiding for the past 10 years due to a string of criminal cases in the province, including the Patikul encounter.

The Abu Sayyaf Group was originally proscribed in 2015 by the Philippine government as a terror group after it was designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council. (PNA)