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 Abu Sayyaf Senior Leaders Designated


11/30/2005

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated three individuals for their senior leadership roles in the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a notoriously violent separatist group operating in the Southern Philippines.  The individuals have supported and/or committed terrorist attacks on behalf of the ASG. 

"The Abu Sayyaf Group instills terror throughout Southeast Asia through kidnappings, bombings and brutal killings.  This action financially isolates senior members of the ASG, who have planned and carried out vicious attacks on Americans, Filipinos and innocent citizens from around the world," said Patrick O'Brien, the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crime.

The individuals named today, Jainal Antel Sali, Jr., Radulan Sahiron, and Isnilon Totoni Hapilon, were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224.  This action freezes any assets the designees may have located under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits transactions between U.S. persons and the designees.  The U.S. and Australia are submitting these three individuals to the United Nations 1267 Committee, which will consider adding them to its Consolidated List based on ASG's association with al Qaida and Usama bin Laden. 

 The U.S. Government, through the Department of States Rewards for Justice Campaign, has offered to pay up to 5,000,000 Philippine Pesos (about US $90,910) for the capture of individuals belonging to the ASG, including Sali.  Additionally, the Department of Defense's U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) has added Sali, Sahiron and Hapilon to the USPACOM Rewards Program Wanted List as ASG members. The Rewards Program offers up to $200,000 for information leading to the capture of each person.

The Philippine Government also has an outstanding reward of 5,000,000 Philippine Pesos for the capture of individuals belonging to the ASG, including Sahiron and Hapilon.

Identifier Information

Jainal Antel Sali, Jr.

AKAs:  Abu Solaiman
Abu Solayman
Apong Solaiman
Apung
DOB:  1 June 1965
POB:  Barangay Lanote, Bliss, Isabele, Basilan, the Philippines

Jainal Antel Sali, Jr. has planned and perpetrated several brutal acts of terrorism involving kidnapping U.S. and foreign nationals and bombing civilian targets. In April 2004, Sali helped supervise members of the ASG's Urban Terror Group, concentrated in the Zamboanga Peninsula of the Philippines, for planned bombing activities. Additionally, as of May 2003, Sali reportedly commanded and deployed approximately 20 ASG suicide bombers to Zamboanga City, the Philippines, in preparation for unspecified operations.

Philippine authorities filed charges against Sali and two other ASG leaders for their involvement in a series of bombings in October 2002 in Zamboanga City, the Philippines.  The bombings occurred at shopping centers and near a restaurant, killing 11 Filipino civilians, an American soldier and wounding more than 200 others. Sali also headed the unit responsible for the October 17, 2002, bombings of two department stores in Zamboanga City.  He had instructed five ASG members to bomb targets in the city and helped assemble the bombs detonated by the ASG.

In addition, Sali planned the May 2001 Dos Palmas resort kidnapping operation in the Philippines.  Sali and eight other ASG members took 20 hostages, including U.S. nationals Martin Burnham, Gracia Burnham, and Guillermo Sobero.  During the movement of the hostages in June 2001 by the ASG, two hostages, who were foreign national employees of the resort, were beheaded on Basilan Island.  The ASG along with 17 of the hostages then proceeded to a hospital in Lamitan, Basilan Island, the Philippines, where they seized and detained additional hostages.  Later in June 2001, the ASG beheaded American national Guillermo Sobero.  Sali was the primary negotiator in the ransom demands for the Dos Palmas kidnapping victims, which resulted in the ASG receiving a ransom payment.

In January 2002, Sali made statements during a radio interview denouncing the arrival of U.S. military advisors in the Philippines to participate in joint military exercises with the Armed Forces of the Philippines designed to locate and combat the ASG and rescue the hostages.

Sali has held several senior positions of influence within the ASG.  In February 2005, Sali accompanied ASG leader Khadafi Janjalani and ASG second-in-command Isnilon Hapilon to a meeting with in the Philippines with senior leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an al Qaida-linked terrorist organization operating in Southeast Asia.  The JI leaders included a top bombmaker, a JI intelligence officer and a JI member suspected of playing a role in the 2002 Bali bombings. 

Sali has served as a spokesperson for the ASG, taken part in decision-making meetings among leaders of the group, and was an advisor to ASG leader Khadafi Janjalani. In late 2002, for example, Sali and other ASG leaders met to discuss the possibility of conducting terrorist activities in Davao City, the Philippines. The operations were placed on hold, however, pending receipt of funding for the operations.

Radulan Sahiron

AKAs:  SAHIRON, Radullan
SAHIRUN, Radulan
SAJIRUN, Radulan
Commander Putol
DOB:  1955
ALT. DOB:  Circa 1952
POB:  Kaunayan, Patikul, Jolo Island, the Philippines

Radulan Sahiron has perpetrated several brutal acts of terrorism involving bombings of civilians and kidnappings of U.S. and foreign nationals. He ordered the bombings conducted by the ASG on Jolo Island in 2004, as mentioned above, resulting in the death of 11 Filipino civilians and an American serviceman and wounding more than 200 others. The improvised explosive devices used in the bombings were initially assembled at Sahiron's headquarters, Camp Tubig Tuh-Tuh, on Jolo Island.

Sahiron was considered to be the key leader of the April 2000 Jolo/Sipadan kidnappings of 21 foreign tourists, including Westerners, Malaysians, and Filipinos, conducted by Sahiron and four other ASG members.  Following the June 2002 ASG kidnapping of four hostages from a ship, the MT Singtec Marine 88 vessel, three of the four hostages were turned over to ASG leader Sahiron and held captive.  In June 2002, Sahiron promised to end kidnappings on Jolo Island if the ransom was paid.  In August 2002, Sahiron received and held four kidnapped women Filipina nationals on Jolo Island.  In November 2002, Sahiron demanded 16 million Philippine Pesos (about US $312,195) for the freedom of seven hostages, including the four Filipina women.  As of December 2003, Radulan Sahiron had received a total of 35 million Philippine Pesos (about US $636,000) in ransom payments from his participation in kidnappings.

Like Sali, Sahiron has held several senior positions of influence within the ASG.  As early as 1999, he was one of fourteen members of the ASG's Majlis Shura (consultative council). In mid-2002, he acted as an advisor to ASG leader Khadafi Janjalani.  Additionally, Sahiron has held several leadership positions over ASG fighters in the Sulu Archipelago area of the Southern Philippines.

From 2000 through 2003, Sahiron was described in various roles, including the leader of the ASG's Putol group, composed of an estimated 100 members operating on Jolo Island in the Sulu area of the Southern Philippines; as the head of the Sulu-based ASG consisting of 18 armed groups; as the ASG Chief of Staff in Sulu; and as the overall ASG commander on Jolo Island with an estimated 1,000 fully-armed followers.

Isnilon Totoni Hapilon

AKAs:  HAPILUN, Isnilon
HAPILUN, Isnilun
Salahudin
Abu Musab
Tuan Isnilon
DOB:  March 18, 1966
ALT DOB:   March 10, 1967
POB:  Bulanza, Lantawan, Basilan, the Philippines

Isnilon Totoni Hapilon has perpetrated several brutal acts of terrorism including kidnappings of U.S. and foreign nationals.  In May 2001, Hapilon and other ASG members seized, detained, and transported 20 hostages, including three U.S. nationals, from the Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan Province, the Philippines, on behalf of the ASG.  In June 2001, one of the U.S. nationals, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded.  Hapilon and the other ASG members moved, hid and marched the hostages through the dense jungles and mountains of Basilan Island, the Philippines.  During that time, the ASG took over a church and hospital on Basilan Island and held 200 people hostage, including three Americans from the ASG kidnapping at the Dos Palmas Resort.

In August 2000, Jeffrey Schilling, a U.S. citizen, was kidnapped by members of the ASG and held hostage for more than seven months on Jolo Island, the Philippines, by the ASG.  In December 2000, Hapilon and 20-armed ASG members guarded a U.S. citizen-hostage who was believed to be Jeffrey Schilling.  Schilling was rescued in April 2001.

Hapilon has held senior advisory positions of influence within the ASG, including adviser to ASG leader Khadafi Janjalani.  Hapilon also served as a deputy or second-in-command to Khadafi Janjalani and commanded certain other members of the ASG.  At various times, Hapilon took part in decision-making meetings between and among the leaders of the ASG.  Prior to the death of ASG founder Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani in December 1998, Hapilon was a member of the ASG central committee.

Additionally, since 1997, Hapilon has held several positions of operational leadership in the ASG.  As of August 2004, Hapilon commanded approximately 70-armed followers.  In August 2003, Hapilon and approximately 100 ASG members were present in "Camp Usama," an ASG training camp established in 2002 by Hapilon in the Southern Philippines.  In late 1999, Hapilon served as an instructor at an ASG camp where classes included military tactics.  As of November 1997, Hapilon was an ASG commander.

 REPORTS

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