MANILA - An alleged Abu Sayyaf member believed to be involved in a kidnapping incident in Sabah, Malaysia 17 years ago and said to have continued funding the terror group was arrested in Quezon City last week.
The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) arrested suspect Abulpatta Abubakar, also known by his alias Kitong Imran, on Oct. 26.
Abubakar was said to be among Abu Sayyaf members involved in a kidnapping incident at the Pulau Sipadan resort in Sabah on April 23, 2000.
The terrorists allegedly brought their victims to Barangay Talom in Jolo, Sulu. Witnesses said they saw Abubakar guarding the Abu Sayyaf camp there.
The suspect stayed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a long time before his arrest.
Authorities said they monitored Abubakar giving funds to Abu Sayyaf leaders Radullan Sahiron and Isnilon Hapilon, whose killing earlier this month in Marawi City paved the way for the end of five months of firefights between state forces and Islamic State-linked terrorists.
Immigration officials had first arrested the suspect on Sept. 26 when he came home from Jeddah. He was immediately released due to lack of evidence.
But the CIDG said they were able to trace calls of known terror leaders to Abubakar, which led to his recent arrest in Quezon City.
The suspected Abu Sayyaf member and financier is facing a case for kidnapping and serious illegal detention before a Metro Manila court.