ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government security forces on Saturday arrested an Indonesian woman believed to be a suicide bomber, and two others in a law enforcement operation in Jolo, Sulu, the military said.
Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu, said Indonesian national Rezky Fantasya Rullie alias Cici; Inda Nurhaina, wife of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Ben Tatoo; and Fatima Sandra Jimlani, wife of ASG member Jahid Jam were arrested in a house said to be owned by Tatoo in Barangay Asturias in Jolo at about 1:50 a.m.
Gonzales said a suicide vest rigged with pipe bombs and other components of an improvised explosive device were found in their possession.
The suspects were placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, he said.
Gonzales said Rullie was on top of their list in the pursuit operation they launched against foreign terrorists in Sulu after the August 24 twin bombings in Jolo.
He said Rullie was the wife of alleged Indonesian terrorist Andi Baso, who was killed in a clash with government troops in Sulu and is believed to be the daughter of the Indonesian couple who perpetrated the January 27, 2019 twin suicide bombing at the Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo.
“We have been pursuing foreign terrorist suicide bombers in Sulu after the twin bombing of Jolo town last Aug. 24, 2020. Rullie was first on our list since we have received intelligence reports that she is going to conduct suicide bombing after the death of (her) husband, Andi Baso, an Indonesian foreign terrorist who was reportedly neutralized during an encounter last Aug. 29, 2020 with two Scout Ranger Battalions under (the) 1102nd Brigade in Patikul, Sulu,” Gonzales said.
He said with this development, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police in Sulu, together with other government intelligence agencies, have served justice to the Filipino people.
Gonzales said the JTF Sulu, under the direction of Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, would “never cease to hunt down these foreign terrorists, coddled by ASG leaders Mundi Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron.”
“We are assuring the Filipino people, most especially the Tausugs of Sulu, that your Armed Force in this part of our country will never allow foreign terrorists to sow fear and chaos in our land. We affirm that the JTF Sulu will continue its focused combat, intelligence, and civil-military cooperation activities in Sulu to end Abu Sayyaf terrorism the soonest possible time,” he said.