Abducted Aussie now in Abu Sayyaf lair

THE retired Australian army soldier abducted by a group  of unidentified gunmen early this month was brought by his captors to Basilan.

The Australian, 53-year old Warren Richard Rodwell, was brought by his captors using pump boats to Basilan immediately after his abduction last December 2 in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Basilan is a known birthplace and bailiwick of the rag-tag Abu Sayyaf (ASG) that has strong links and ties with the Al-Qaeda and the Indonesian-based Jemaah Islamiyah.

The commander of the Basilan based 104th Infantry Brigade, Colonel Ricardo Visaya, said that the whereabouts of the abducted Australian national was established through intelligence operation conducted jointly by the military and police.

The army official, however, declined to say where the Australian was being kept by the captors belonging to the group of Barahama Alih, which has ties with the group of ASG commander, Furuji Indama.

Meanwhile, Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the PNP’s Directorate for Integrated Police Operations for Western Mindanao, said that no negotiations are yet taking place for the release of the Australian.

The police official said that the abductors have tried to establish communications with the relatives of Rodwell, but failed.

The police official added that Alih was allegedly a former member of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) before heading a group of lawless elements in Zamboanga Sibugay. Anthony Vargas

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