The 21st Century Phenomenon


On 04/10/2004 53 of 137 inmates at the Basilan Provincial Jail, including many members of the Al Qaeda -linked Abu Sayyaf group, had escaped. 8 escapees were killed in the event. At least 9 more prisoners were recaptured by soldiers, said Senior Inspector William Gadayan, police chief of Isabela, the capital of Basilan province, Southern Philippines. He said three guards had been injured in the breakout.

The escaped prisoners broke up into smaller groups and scattered in different directions, jail warden Jumaril Sali said.

The escape came just two days after Filipino soldiers outside Isabela killed six alleged Abu Sayyaf members, including Hamsiraji Sali, one of five guerrilla leaders wanted by Washington for n the deaths of two American hostages in the Palawan Hijacking.

William Gadayan said the escape may have been in retaliation for Hamsiraji Sali’s death and an effort by the Abu Sayyaf to regroup.

According to the Basilan Jail Authority an inmate’s wife smuggled in a .45-caliber pistol, which the inmates used to overpower the guards. They also seized a shotgun and two M-16 rifles equipped with grenade launchers from the guards.

Basilan Governer Wahab Akbar has ordered a manhunt for the escapees and an investigation into the jail break.

Among the escapees were also Taufik Rifki, known as Abu-Ubaida (see – Omog – Rifki ), Annik Abbas alias Abu Anek, one of the Palawan Hijacking team, and Abu Black the alleged leaders of the escape, who already tried once to break free from his guards during a court hearing,

One of the escapees, Janati Janatail, apprehended by government militiamen in the village Sumagdang outside Isabel, told police one of the leaders of the jailbreak pointed a shotgun at him and several others, warning they would be killed if they did not join the escape.


* Related topics –  
03/2004 -ZAMBOANGA  CEL 



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