Philippine police identify militants who seized 2 German tourists, to file criminal complaints

By on November 5, 2014


Screengrab from video released by the Abu Sayyaf group released on September 24, 2014
Screengrab from video released by the Abu Sayyaf group released on September 24, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine police say two German tourists who were freed last month by Abu Sayyaf militants after six months of jungle captivity have helped investigators identify at least five of their captors, who will face criminal complaints.

Police Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo said Wednesday that the Germans identified the leaders of their kidnappers when they were shown portraits of Abu Sayyaf militants. Criminal complaints will be filed soon against the alleged kidnappers, including Moammar Askali, a young rebel commander who uses the alias Abu Rami.

Seventy-two-year-old German cardiologist Stefan Viktor Okonek and 47-year-old Henrike Dielen were freed from the jungles of southern Sulu province Oct. 17, reportedly in exchange for a huge ransom. They were seized from their yacht in April by a boatload of militants who pretended to be policemen.