- Published on Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00
- Written by VICTOR REYES
By A Web design Company
A SENIOR leader of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf has been included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s updated list of most wanted terrorists, together with an American and an Afghan.
Radullan Sahiron is the second Filipino included in the list, joining Isnilon Hapilon, a fellow Abu Sayyaf leader believed operating in the island province of Basilan.
The FBI announced the inclusion of Sahiron in a statement issued yesterday.
“Raddulan Sahiron, a native of the Philippines, is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 1993 kidnapping of an American in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf Group, designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997,” an FBI statement said.
“Sahiron, believed to be the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, was indicted on federal hostage-taking charges and may currently be in the area of Patikul, Jolo, Sulu, Philippines,” it also said.
Sahiron, whose right arm had been amputated, was indicted in a District of Columbia court in February 2007 and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Sahiron’s case is in relation to the November 1993 kidnapping of US missionary Charles Watson in Pangutaran town in Sulu. The victim was released by Sahiron’s group 23 days later.
“Sahiron has been the overall leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group since 2005, and is believed to be in the area of Patikul Jolo, Sulu, Philippines,” the FBI said.
The US State Department has put up a reward of $1 million for information that would lead to the neutralization of Sahiron.
The US State Department is also offering $5 million for Hapilon’s arrest, $1 million for Abdul Basit Usman, and $500,000 for Khair Mundos. Usman and Mundos are also Abu Sayyaf leaders.
The FBI said those included have threatened the security of US nationals or US national security and should “be considered a dangerous menace to society.”
The American included in the updated list is suspected of operating with terrorists in Somalia.
Officials believe Omar Shafik Hammami, formerly of Alabama, is a senior leader in the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab which has links to al-Qaida. He faces charges in Alabama of providing material support to terrorists.
The Afghan, Shaykh Aminullah, is being sought because of his ties to the Pakistan-based terror organization, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.
Officials have no information about Aminullah regarding specific planning of attacks on Americans, FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said.
Aminullah has not been charged in the US with any crimes. In 2009, he was placed on the Treasury Department’s list of designated terrorists, blocking any assets he has in the US and banning Americans from doing business with him.
There are currently 31 people on the list.
The recent additions represent an administrative update and is less a signal of any new, urgent need to find these men, officials said.
The list was created one month after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and nominations to the list are made through the FBI’s counterterrorism division. A person must be under criminal indictment to be placed on the list.
Hammami has long been a concern among US counterterrorism officials because of his reach with English-speaking audiences and ability to inspire Americans to engage in terrorism. – With AP