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Close aide of top ASG leader nabbed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) – Joint police and military operatives arrested a close aide of a top leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in this city, police said Wednesday.

Chief Insp. Elmer Solon, Police Station 4 chief, identified the suspect as Albarin Arabin, whose real identity is Ustadz Namir alias Abu Amama, and a sub-leader of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Solon said the arrest of Arabin was only announced Wednesday although the he was arrested on Monday in Barangay Taluksangay since they have yet to ascertain the identity of the suspect.

He said the true identity of Arabin was established through the help of a witness who is under the Witness Protection and Benefits Program of the Department of Justice.

He said Arabin has standing warrant of arrest for six counts kidnapping with serious illegal detention issued by a court in Basilan province.

He said the arrested of Arabin came after the reported presence of two unidentified persons in Barangay Taluksangay claiming to be Malaysian preachers.

He said they turned out to be Filipinos who have worked for several years in Malaysia.

He said Arabin’s companion, Abdulwajid Ibno, was placed under investigation to ascertain whether he is also a member of the ASG.

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