Philippine police: 4 wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders arrested

Suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member Abuhair Kullim Indal, center, is escorted to a police car after being presented to reporters at Camp Crame police headquarters in metropolitan Manila, Philippines, Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Philippine police: 4 wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders arrested

  • The women were arrested in raids on houses in southern Zamboanga city

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines: Philippine police on Tuesday arrested four women they said were wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders who took care of their financial transactions, helped procure guns and bomb parts and arranged the travels of foreign militants to the country.
The women were arrested in raids on houses in southern Zamboanga city where authorities seized two grenades, a bag of suspected ammonium nitrate and electrical parts that can be used in making bombs, police officials said.
The women worked under Abu Sayyaf leader Hajjan Sawadjaan, the main suspect in the Jan. 27 bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral during a Mass that killed 23 people in nearby Sulu province’s capital town of Jolo. The cathedral attack by two suspected suicide bombers sparked the latest military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.
“The women are the wives of Abu Sayyaf group leaders,” a police report said without identifying the militant husbands of the women. They “are being utilized by the ASG for their financial transactions, procurement and transportation of firearms and explosives and the facilitation of recruitment and travel of foreign fighters to the Philippines,” it said.
Sawadjaan has been regarded as the current leader of small armed groups aligned with the Daesh group in the southern Philippines, homeland of minority Muslims in the largely Roman Catholic nation. Police officials suspect he may be harboring at least one more potential suicide attacker, an Arab militant, in his jungle encampment near mountainous Ptikul town in Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf, which has been blacklisted by the US and Philippine governments for deadly bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings, is estimated to have 200-300 fighters. It has been weakened by battle losses and surrenders but remains a national security threat.


Soccer player gunned down in latest Amsterdam violence

Updated 39 min 19 sec ago

Soccer player gunned down in latest Amsterdam violence

  • Defender Kelvin Maynard, 32, died when two assailants on a motorbike opened fire on his car on Wednesday night in a south-east district of the Dutch capital
  • Maynard’s murder came on the same day a prominent Dutch lawyer, involved in a case against a gang accused of drug-related killings, was gunned down in front of his Amsterdam home

AMSTERDAM: A former Dutch professional footballer who played for clubs in Portugal, Hungary and England has been shot dead in the latest violence to afflict Amsterdam, police said.
Defender Kelvin Maynard, 32, died when two assailants on a motorbike opened fire on his car on Wednesday night in a south-east district of the Dutch capital, a police statement said.
Police appealed for any witnesses to the shooting to come forward to assist in the investigation.
“The motive is still totally unknown, as is what led up to it and who might have been involved,” a police spokeswoman said.
She said that Maynard had had previous run-ins with the police, but would not give any details. “His name is registered in our systems,” she told Reuters.
Maynard was playing this season for Dutch amateur club “Alphense Boys.” Previously, he had been with Dutch side Volendam, Portugal’s Sporting Clube Olhanense, Hungary’s Kecskemeti TE, Belgium’s Antwerp FC and England’s Burton Albion.
Tributes flooded in from shocked soccer players and coaches who expressed support for his wife and children.
“Kelvin was a big, tough guy, but inside he was a teddy bear,” former coach Joop Gall told broadcaster RTV Drente. “We had regular contact, especially about his sick mother.”
Maynard’s murder came on the same day a prominent Dutch lawyer, involved in a case against a gang accused of drug-related killings, was gunned down in front of his Amsterdam home.
Alarm has been growing over crime in Amsterdam, a city of 800,000 people where recreational drug use has long been tolerated by law enforcement, creating an underworld of dealers and suppliers which sometimes fuels violence.