The Philippine National Police on Monday announced the capture of a trusted aide of Dawlah Islamiya caretaker Mudzrimar “Mundi” Sawadjaan, who has been identified as the mastermind of the Aug. 24 twin bombings in Jolo.
Elements of the PNP Intelligence Group, Special Action Force, PRO9 and AFP arrested Hashim Saripada in Barangay Ricodo, Zamboanga City, PNP chief Camilo Cascolan said in a press briefing.
"Saripada is the assistant cohort of Mundi Sawadjaan. This will be a very big blow on him because nawalan siya ng isang pagkakatiwalaan and this one is actually his assistant. So karamihan ng kanyang mga activities ngayon hindi na matutuloy because of that and he knows na mino-monitor na siya ng lahat ng intelligence at anti-terrorism units," Cascolan said.
The military has identified Sawadjaan as the mastermind of the Aug. 24 twin bombings in Jolo town that killed 17 people, including two suspected suicide bombers, and injured over 70 others.
A military official earlier said two Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to authorities in Sulu province Friday morning.
The two terrorists surrendered after they were "enticed by their former comrade" who also surrendered earlier this month, Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade, said
The two militants gave themselves up to Lt. Col. Rafael Caido, commanding officer of the 6th Special Forces Battalion. The duo also handed over an M-16 rifle and an M79 grenade launcher.