Philippine security officials say a top commander of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group who is on the U.S. list of most-wanted terrorists has been captured near Manila's international airport.

Philippine officials say it was not immediately clear why Khair Mundos, who is based in the south, had traveled to the Philippine capital. He is one of the highest-ranking terrorist suspects to be captured in the country in years.

Mundos was captured once before in 2004 but escaped in 2007.

The U.S. State Department says Mundos has been charged with money laundering and once acknowledged that he arranged the transfer of al-Qaida funds to the Abu Sayyaf to finance bombings and other attacks in the Philippines.