Freed Jordanian names Sayyaf leader-A A +A
Thursday, December 5, 2013
MANILA -- Veteran Jordanian TV journalist Baker Atyani has identified the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group that held him for a year and a half in southern Philippines after luring him with a promise of an interview.
Atyani said Abu Sayyaf commander Jul Asman Sawadjaan plotted his kidnapping in June last year with the help of his fighters and civilians in Sulu province.
The Abu Sayyaf has carved a brutal image for beheadings, bombings, and ransom kidnappings.
Sulu military commander Colonel Jose Cenabre said that Atyani either was freed or escaped from his Abu Sayyaf captors late Wednesday. He was recovered by policemen around 7:30 p.m. in the village of Igasan, Patikul municipality.
Cenabre said Thursday that Atyani told him he did not see several other Abu Sayyaf hostages during his captivity, including two Europeans who were seized last year.
The 44-year-old journalist, who works for Dubai-based Al Arabiya News Channel, underwent stress debriefing after he was admitted at the government-run Integrated Provincial Health Office in Sulu, officials said.
Join Task Force Sulu commander Colonel Jose Johriel Cenabre, however, refused to discuss details of the debriefing saying “it is considered operational information.”
Atyani and his two Filipino crewmen were kidnapped in June 2012 by the Abu Sayyaf bandits whom they had sought to interview in the jungles of Sulu province. His two companions were freed last February. (AP)