THE Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu and police operatives have arrested in simultaneous law enforcement operations nine potential female suicide bombers, who are relatives of Abu Sayyaf leaders and members in Sulu, a top military official said Tuesday.
Major General William Gonzales, JTF-Sulu commander, said three of the nine suspects arrested Friday, February 19, are all daughters of the late Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.
They were identified as Isara Jalmaani Abduhajan, 36; Jedah Abduhajan Amin, 28; and Elena Tasum Sawadjaan-Abun, 40.
Gonzales said the troops recovered several improvised explosive device (IED) components when they arrested Isara and Jedah in Bangkal village, Patikul.
Elena, the widow of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Walid Abun, was arrested together with another suspected potential suicide bomber, Firdauzia Said, also known as Firdausia Salvin, in Kalimayahan Village, Barangay Latih, Patikul. Firdauzia is the widow of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Mannul Said.
Gonzales said that in another law enforcement operation in Tulay village, Jolo, Sulu, the troops also arrested potential suicide bombers, namely, Nudsza Ismanu Aslun and Nurshada Isnain.
Aslun is the widow of Abu Sayyaf member Alias Abu Jabar, while Isnain is the widow of Abu Sayyaf member Alias Abu Akram, one of the trusted followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan.
Gonzales said the troops recovered IED components such as switches, batteries, pipes, concrete nails, blasting caps, suspected ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) and detonating cord.
He said the other suspects who are under the custody of government authorities were identified as Linda Darun Maruji, Risa Jhalil, and Sharifa Rajani, all residents of Kalimayahan village, Barangay Latih, Patikul.
"This is how desperate the remaining terrorists are, willing to sacrifice their families just to get back at government forces. JTF-Sulu will continue to exhaust all our options to put an end to terrorism here in this province. Thus, we will constantly collaborate with the police to press legal charges towards ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) members, supporters and sympathizers," Gonzales said. (SunStar Zamboanga)