MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed that efforts are now underway to capture and neutralize Filipino bomb-maker and terrorist Basit Usman.
This was confirmed by military public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc during a briefing Monday afternoon.
He declined to give specifics but said that the operation is being done in coordination with the Philippine National Police and military units in Maguindanao.
Intelligence sources claimed that Usman is still hiding in the vicinity of Mamasapano despite the Jan. 25 operation by Special Action Force which neutralized Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.
Killed in the issuing encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters were 44 SAF members.
Cabunoc also urged Moro Islamic Liberation Front units in the vicinity to help in the ongoing efforts as the fight against terrorism is everyone’s fight.
Usman is a bomb-making expert with links to the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist organizations operating in the 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 of the Philippines has issued a warrant for his arrest.
The US has placed a USD1 million reward for the former’s immediate capture or neutralization.