Reports reaching SecurityMatters indicate that one of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) most wanted terrorists was killed together with more than 37 policemen in the vicinity of Barangay Pidsandawan, Mamasapano municipality, Maguindanao on Sunday, 25 January 2015.
Twelve other policemen were also reportedly taken hostage by BIFF elements while six were killed and 11 wounded among the BIFF as of this posting. These figures are yet to be confirmed by both the military and police in the area. The body of Marwan needs to be recovered for DNA verification and confirmation that he is really dead.
Initial reports state that an undetermined number of Special Action Force (SAF) members of the Philippine National Police conducted operations to capture terror suspects, alleged Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as “Marwan,” and Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. Marwan is in the Most Wanted Terrorists list of the FBI. He has a US$5 million bounty on his head while Usman has US$1 million. Both therefore are considered as HVTs or High Value Targets.
The PNP-SAF penetrated clandestinely the bastions of two battalions of the MILF and the stronghold of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) early Sunday morning allegedly without prior coordination with the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, the Joint Coordinating Committee, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The SAF troops, who were augmented by policemen from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional office, mistakenly raided the post of 105th battalion of the MILF. Earlier at 1100H, Sunday, reports reaching several sources mentioned that 11 SAF members were killed and the rest encircled by BIFF forces. BIFF, on their side, claimed that the BIFF’s 1st Brigade intercepted the reinforcement from the military at around 0900H, Sunday.
The BIFF claimed to have recovered at least 10 rifles from the casualties. The military reinforcement cannot reach the SAF and policemen due to absence of communication link-up and no clear information on the location of the police officers.
Latest report from confidential sources said Marwan has been killed and buried immediately in undisclosed place during the firefight. There are no information yet on the whereabouts and conditions of the injured and hostages although there are indications that MILF withdrew to their respective areas in Barangay Pidsandawan, Mamasapano; and Barangays Linatangan and Lusaay, Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao province in order for the military to recovered the police casualties.
Marwan is the suspected head of the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) terrorist organization. He is also said to be a member of Jemaah Islamiyah’s (JI) central command.
Allegedly, he is a supplier and bomb-making trainer for terrorist organizations such as the Abu Sayyaf Group and BIFF.
According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marwan was indicted on August 1, 2007 in the United States District Court, Northern District of California and charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, contributing goods and services to a specially designated global terrorist, and making false statements.