SECURITY forces on Friday captured a suspected member of the Maute terror group in a raid in Batangas City which yielded a cache of explosives, Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brigadier General Edward E. Carranza announced yesterday.
The official identified the arrested suspect as Jafar Dia Abdul Nazar alias’ Muhajir/Muhasjir/Diya.’
Carranza said that members of the PRO4-A Regional Intelligence Division and Regional Special Operations Unit, joined by officers from the Batangas Police Provincial Office and the Air Force raided the house of the suspect on the strength of a search warrant for illegal possession of explosives.
Recovered during the raid were one-and-a-half pound of TNT high explosives and a fragmentation grenade.
The official said the raid was triggered by an intelligence report that the suspect is keeping high explosives and grenades inside his residence prompting undercover officers to place the area under surveillance for weeks until the search warrant was issued by Judge Dorcas Ferriols-Perez of the Batangas City Regional Trial Court Branch 84.
Carranza said that Abdul Nazar is a native of Lanao del Sur who fled to Manila at the height of the massive government operations to neutralize Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City in 2017.
He said that the suspect established a cellphone accessories’ shop at the Batangas City public market to conceal his identity.
“We have received information that the suspect is an intelligence officer of the Maute Group operating in the areas of Calanugas, Pagayawan and Malabang in Lanao del Sur,” Carranza said.
The Calabarzon police director said that surveillance agents observed the suspect to be very evasive since he frequently transfers from one stall to another. He added that undercover agents who placed the apartment of the suspect under surveillance watched from a distance as the suspect left the place on board his black motorcycle with a black pouch attached to his waistline.
“The black pouch turned out to be containing a hand grenade which is always being carried by the armed and dangerous suspect,” Carranza said.
The suspect will be facing non-bailable charges for illegal possession of explosives.
Carranza said they are monitoring the security situation in the province in the aftermath of the arrest of the suspect.