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Philippines captures top al-Qaeda-linked militant

July 31, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities have arrested a founding member of Abu Sayyaf, AFP reported Sunday (July 29th).

Ustadz Ahmadsali Asmad Badron, also known as Ammad or Hamad Ustadz Idris, was arrested Saturday in the remote Tawi-Tawi islands in the southern Philippines.

Police criminal investigation regional chief Edgar Danao said Badron was one of the original members of Abu Sayyaf, which was founded in the 1990s using seed money from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Along with one of his cousins, Badron worked alongside Galib Andang, a notorious Abu Sayyaf leader, well known as "Commander Robot", who was killed in 2005.

The group carried out a cross-border raid on a Malaysian resort in April 2000 and kidnapped dozens of foreign tourists. The hostages were freed in batches after huge ransom payments, officials said.

The group has also been blamed for the worst extremist attacks in Philippines history including a ferry bombing in Manila in 2004 that killed more than 100 people.

While on the run, Badron allegedly helped foreign militants from Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to hide in the southern Philippines. The JI is blamed for deadly attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed 202 people.

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