File photo: Abu Sayyaf group
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde announced Wednesday, May 23, that the right-hand man of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon has been arrested in a joint military and police operations in Sulu.
The militant was identified as Hashim Abtaib alias “Abu Imam,” an active member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG.)
Abtaib is facing multiple charges including kidnapping and serious illegal detention. He was involved in the kidnapping of 15 workers from Golden Harvest plantation in Lantawan, Basilan and in the beheading of a soldier, also in Basilan, in 2001.
Albayalde said the victims positively identified Abtaib on the day he was arrested.
Abtaib has a P600,000 bounty on his head. Authorities are looking into his possible participation in the Marawi Siege. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue