MANILA — With the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) DNA test confirming the death of Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan,” efforts will be concentrated to capture or neutralize Filipino bomber Basit Usman, now the most wanted terrorist in the Philippines.
This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla during a press briefing late Thursday.
“Instructions are for his immediate capture or neutralization, if he tries to resist arrest,” he said in Filipino.
“All wanted terrorists in the Philippines will be arrested or neutralized whenever the opportunity presents itself,” Padilla stressed.
Usman is a bomb-making expert with links to the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist organizations operating in parts of southern Philippines.
He is believed to have orchestrated several bombings that have killed, injured, and maimed many innocent civilians.
Usman has been indicted in the Philippines for his role in multiple bombing incidents since 2003, and the government has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Usman is also among the most wanted terrorists of the FBI with a USD1-million reward for his immediate capture or neutralization.
Usman was the second priority target of Special Action Force (SAF) members who participated in the Mamasapano, Maguindanao operation that resulted in the killing of Marwan last Jan. 25.
Forty-four SAF men were killed in the ensuing firefight with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).