ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/18 March) – The United States government, through the Rewards for Justice Program, rewarded Friday $70,000 to Filipino informants who helped troops by providing information that led to the death of an Abu Sayyaf bandit involved in the kidnapping of Americans in the country.
Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said Friday the information led to the successful raid in Tuburan town, Basilan that killed Suhud Tanajalin.
Cabangbang said Tanajalin was killed when Filipino troops raided an Abu Sayyaf lair last February 8 in Tuburan.
He said Tanajalin was wanted by the American and Philippine governments for his involvement in the May 2001 kidnapping of 21 people including three Americans in Dos Palmas, Palawan.
Tanajalin was also involved in the 2001 siege of Lamitan City, Basilan, and was involved in planning bomb attacks in April 2010 in the same city, Cabangbang added.
He described Tanajalin as a veteran member of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and known to have been operating in Lamitan City and in nearby Tuburan.
He said the reward “was paid in full” to the informants at the headquarters of the Special Operations Task Force-Basilan in Isabela City, the provincial capital.
The Rewards for Justice Program is one of the US government’s tools in its fight against international terrorism.
Established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, Public Law 98-533, the program is administered by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. (MindaNews)