US authorities declare Abu Sayyaf leader as global terrorist
The US has added a 60-year-old leader of the pro-Daesh Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan, and a female militant from Mindanao to its list of global terrorists.
The names of Sawadjaan and Almaida Marani Salvin, 30, were among those placed on the US Treasury’s sanctions blacklist released on the eve of the Sept. 11 attacks.
It followed US President Donald Trump signing an executive order that enhances America’s ability to go after financiers of militant groups, their leaders and supporters. The US State Department said that the executive order was the most significant update of terrorist designations since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and “will enable the US to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorist organizations and those who train to commit acts of terrorism.”
“The State Department is moving aggressively to implement these new authorities,” it said, adding that the designation of Sawadjaan and everyone else on the list “seeks to deny these terrorists the resources to plan and carry out attacks.”
Sawadjaan has been called the mastermind behind the suicide attacks on Sulu Islands on Jan. 27 this year. The first attack on a cathedral in Jolo city killed 23 people — including an Indonesian couple who carried out the bombing — and wounded 109 others.
The second attack on June 28 targeted an army counterterrorism unit brigade in Indanan town, killing eight people and injuring 22 others. It was also the first officially confirmed case of a suicide bombing carried out by a Filipino, identified as Norman Lasuca, in the Philippines. The other suspect in the attack was believed to be a foreigner.
Source: Arab News