MANILA

9 'potential suicide bombers' arrested in Sulu

(Contributed/Wesmincom)

NINE women suspected of being “potential” suicide bombers were arrested in simultaneous operations in Sulu on February 19, 2021, the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Seven were arrested in Barangay Bangkal in Patikul, including two daughters of the late Hajan Sawadjaan, while two were arrested in Barangay Tulay in Jolo.

Those arrested in Patikul are:

  • Elena Tasum Sawadjaan-Abun, 40, daughter of the late Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan and widow of sub-leader Walid Abun;
  • Linda Darun Maruji, 66, sister of Sawadjaan;
  • Firdauzia Said, widow of sub-leader Mannul Said;
  • Risa Jalil, wife of ASG member Nasser Sawadjaan Hadjail and a niece of Hajan Sawadjaan;
  • Sharifa Rajani, wife of ASG member Mukti, under the said ASG leader; and
  • Isara Jalmaani Abduhajan, 36, and Jedah Abduhajan-Amin, 28, daughters of the late Hajan Sawadjaan.


Two others who were arrested were Nudzha Ismani Aslun, 26, widow of ASG member Jabar who was one of the followers of sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan; and Nurshahada Isnain, 19, wife of ASG member Akram, one of the trusted followers of Mundi.

Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan, Wesmincom commander, said the police and military team that served the search warrant on the first five women recovered improvised explosive device (IED) components including one Energizer 9V battery with battery snap, one non-electric blasting cap, a backpack, suspected ammonium nitrate fuel oil (Anfo), suspected detonating cord, 2.5 inches G.I. pipe, 184 pieces 1-inch concrete nails and two Android phones.

From the two women arrested in Jolo, Vinluan said they recovered one push-button switch, one Eveready 9V battery with battery snap, one non-electric blasting cap, one backpack, suspected Anfo, suspected detonating cord, 2.5 inches G.I. pipe, 340 pieces 1-inch concrete nails, one hand grenade MK2 high explosive, one booklet entitled “Jihad Fil Sabilillaah”, several identification cards and a rough sketch of a terror plan.

The two daughters of Hajan Sawadjaan allegedly yielded IED components including one push-button switch, one Energizer 9V battery with battery snap, one non-electric blasting cap, a backpack, suspected Anfo, suspected detonating cord, 2.5 inches G.I. pipe and 265 pieces of 1-inch concrete nails.

A search warrant was also served in Indanan, Sulu but the targets eluded arrest.

The nine women, who are under police custody, will be facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9516 or the illegal possession of explosives.

The suspected Anfo and detonating cords were brought to the Crime Laboratory for examination and confirmation. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)

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