Arrests averted holiday mayhem

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Aba (Left) Sen (Right)

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) yesterday announced the Christmas Day arrest of an alleged member of the Islamic State-inspired Daulah Islamiyah who was out to conduct bomb attacks in Metro Manila during the holiday season.

Nabbed was Jeran Aba, who uses the aliases Paito Pangadaman Liwal’g and Abu Sinan, a member of Daulah Islamiyah — an umbrella organization of various IS-inspired groups operating in Mindanao.

Aba was arrested at around 8:30 p.m. last 25 December on Quezon Boulevard corner Norzagaray St. in Quiapo, Manila after he was seen in possession of a pistol.

Five days earlier, a wanted Abu Sayyaf terrorist, identified as Sen, who uses the aliases Abu Nas, Suhud, Jul and Sudais Asmad, was also collared by police operatives on Elcano Street in Binondo, Manila. He is wanted for the kidnapping of 15 employees of Golden Harvest Plantation in 2011.

“(Aba) was planning to conduct IED attack in NCR during the holiday season and incoming festivals,” NCRPO chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

Aba also admitted he was a former member of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and took part in the Marawi siege in 2017.

On the other hand, Sen was in Metro Manila “purportedly to receive financial support from sympathizers of the Daulah Islamiyah and for other yet unknown missions.”

Sen also serves as liaison for “Balik Islam” members in Luzon who are going to Basilan. He is identified with the Abu Sayyaf group of Isnilon Hapilon, who was killed during the Marawi City siege, and Furuji Indama.

Both were charged with illegal possession of firearms.

Eleazar said the two separate arrests prompted NCRPO to intensify intelligence and security operations in the metropolis, not only during the yuletide season, but also during last Wednesday’s Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila or the Traslacion.

The NCRPO chief said the arrests were products of special intelligence and counter-terrorism operations.

“With these accomplishments, the NCRPO further intensified its intelligence efforts and police operations that resulted in the generally peaceful celebration of the yuletide season and Traslacion 2019,” Eleazar said.

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