MANILA, Philippines – A member of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group wanted for kidnapping was arrested at a posh residential condominium in the Philippine capital where he worked as a security guard, police said Friday.
Arabani Jakiran was arrested amid an intensified manhunt for al-Qaida-linked militants to pre-empt any possible revenge attacks for Osama Bin Laden's killing this week in Pakistan, National Police Chief Raul Bacalzo said.
The 39-year-old native of southern Jolo island was arrested early Thursday at the Pacific Plaza Tower in metropolitan Manila's upscale Bonifacio Global City, said Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr. of the police criminal investigation group.
Pagdilao said Jakiran has been linked to the 2001 kidnapping of 20 tourists, including three Americans, from a western Philippine resort, a siege and kidnapping at a southern hospital, and a hostage-taking in a coconut plantation.
Jakiran has a 350,000 peso ($8,160) bounty on his head and an arrest warrant for kidnapping issued by a court in southern Basilan province, he added.
The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings, has been blacklisted by Washington as a terrorist organization. U.S.-backed offensives have deprived it of its top leaders and hindered its ability to launch bombings and other attacks.
A government threat assessment report seen by The Associated Press in February said the 410 remaining Abu Sayyaf fighters, who remain without a central leader, are so troubled by funding problems they have kidnapped even poor victims to get ransoms.