ASG mid-level leader killed in Zamboanga City
A mid-level leader of the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was killed in a law enforcement operation early Tuesday in this southern port city, a top police official said.
Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director, said that Arrasid Adjing Halissam alias Guru Ara was killed in a law enforcement operation around 3 a.m. Tuesday in Barangay San Roque here.
Armed with a .45 caliber pistol, Ylagan said Halissam opened fire as he tried to escape, prompting the approaching authorities to return fire that killed the ASG leader.
Halissan yielded a .45 caliber pistol with ammunition, a grenade, and components of an improvised explosive device (IED).
Ylagan said the law enforcement operation was launched following the reported plan of Sulu-based ASG sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan to conduct attacks in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) areas.
Halissam was a trusted associate of the slain “emir of all Islamic State forces in the Philippines” Isnilon Hapilon as both pledged allegiance to the ISIS in 2014, the police official said.
Halissam was also the facilitator of late Malaysian international terrorist Zulkipli Bin Hir alias Marwan, he said, adding that the slain suspect was a member of the ASG-Zamboanga cell ASG and was involved in various kidnapping and bombings incidents.
He said the suspect was recently monitored in this city, facilitating the recruitment of new members of Dawlah Islamiya (DI) and acting as financial conduits of DI and ASG.