Elite Army Scout Rangers operating against top terrorist leaders allied with the Islamic State (IS) rescued the son of an Indonesian suicide bomber who died during a bomb attack of a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, in 2019.
A belated report from the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the teenager was identified as Ahmad Ibrahim Rullie, 15, who was rescued during the operations of the Scout Rangers on Saturday in Sumisip, Basilan.
Joint Task Force Basilan acting commander Col. Frederick Sales said Rullie alias Adih, is the son of the late IS suicide bomber Abbang Rullie, one of the two Indonesians who carried out the biggest bombing of the IS in Mindanao.
Abbang alias Rullie Rian Zeke, 35, and his wife Ulfah Handayani Saleh, 32, were previously tagged by authorities as perpetrators of the Jolo Cathedral bombing in January 2019 that killed 23 people and wounded more than a hundred others. Ulfah also died during the attack.
Westmincom spokesman Major Andrew Linao said elements of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion recovered Rullie from the harboring site of the group of Mudzrimar Sawadjaan alias Mundi at Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip, Basilan.
The Scout Rangers were conducting a focused military operation against Sawadjaan, a leader of the IS and Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu, and Basilan-based ASG subleader Pasil Bayali alias Kera. Sawadjaan has transferred to Basilan in order to escape from military operations in Sulu.
The military said that Rullie was left to the care of Sawadjaan when his father carried out the Jolo Cathedral suicide bombing. Sawadjaan has also been identified as one of the planners of the attack.
Linao said Rullie was abandoned by Sawadjaan when he and his group escaped from their harboring site in Basilan as the Scout Rangers closed in on them.
Westmincom commander Lt. Gen. Roy Galido commended the troops of Joint Task Force Basilan for successfully rescuing the Indonesian.
“He is still young, and we are hopeful that with proper guidance and counseling, he will be able to walk back on the right path and build a better future,” Galido said.