KOTA KINABALU - A 64-year-old Abu Sayyaf member with a Php 5.3 million (RM455,499.5) bounty who was involved in the Sipadan kidnapping incident in 2000 has finally fallen into the hands of the local authority.
Identified as Abdula-latip Talanghati, the suspect was arrested in a follow-up operation in Zamboanga City, Friday night.
Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Police Chief Superintendent Billy Beltran told Daily Express that also arrested during the operation was Abdula-latip's relative Albashrie Talanghati.
He said the arrest of the two Talamghati resulted in the foiling of a bombing attempt in Zamboanga City as police confiscated an improvised explosive device when the suspects were collared beside the Land Transportation Office ( LTO) located at the heart of the city.
Billy said the operation stemmed from the intelligence report about the Abu Sayyaf's plan to carry out bombing activities in Zamboanga City during the month-long ongoing Zamboanga Hermosa Festival which kicked-off a couple of days ago.
"Prior to the arrest, we have been receiving reports that these people were planning to conduct atrocities in the "City Of Flowers" during the celebration," he added.
The older Talanghati, who has a P5.3-million (RM455,499.5) bounty, is among the suspects in the Sipadan kidnapping in April 2000, when several local and foreign tourists were taken by the Abu Sayyaf group and brought to Sulu.