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Abu Sayyaf Co-Founder Nabbed in Jakarta with Fake Passport

Philippine News, Posted: Dec 17, 2009

MANILA- The Philippines announced Wednesday that one of the co-founders of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf extremist group had been arrested after being detained at Jakarta airport using a false passport.

Indonesian authorities picked up Abdul Basir Latip on Nov. 21, but he was only brought back to Manila on Dec. 9, said Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) spokesman Ricardo Diaz. The NBI said Latip was a founding member of the Abu Sayyaf and had worked with its spiritual leader, Khadaffy Janjalani, who was killed by the Philippine military in 2006.

Diaz said Latip served as a conduit of funds between Al-Qaeda leaders in Saudi Arabia and the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim militant group blamed for the Philippines' worst terror attacks. "His involvement was not as a fighter but as a finance officer and the conduit for Al-Qaeda to facilitate transfer of funds to the ASG (Abu Sayyaf group)," said Diaz.

The United States is also seeking Latip's extradition for the Abu Sayyaf's kidnapping of American missionary Charles Walton in the southern Philippines in 1993, according to Diaz.



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