Police arrested an alleged Abu Sayyaf member wanted for the Dos Palmas kidnapping in 2001 during an operation in Isabela City, Basilan, early Tuesday.

Sonny Baki Barahim alias Abu Ismael was arrested around 9 a.m., Senior Supt. Generoso Bonifacio, head of the 9th Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (RCIDU-9), said.

Members of the PNP Special Action Force and the RCIDU-9 carried out the arrest on a warrant for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, Bonifacio said.

Ismael was one of the armed men who guarded American missionary couple Martin and Grace Burham during captivity in Basilan, the police official said.

The Burnham couple were among 20 tourists abducted by Abu Sayyaf members at the Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan on May 27, 2001.

The third American in the group, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded the same year while Martin Burnham got killed when Abu Sayyaf members clashed with troops during a rescue operation in June 2002.

Ismael also has links with Furuji Indama and had been trained in bomb making and doing surveillance activities for bombing and kidnapping operations in Zamboanga City and Basilan, Bonifacio said. (John Roson)

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