Zamboanga, Philippines - PHILIPPINE police said on Monday they have captured a member of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group who joined in the abduction and beheading of Christian workers when he was 14.
The suspect, Jirome Mustakin, now 22, was arrested on Sunday in the southern port city of Zamboanga as he waited to board a ferry heading across the sea border to Sabah in Malaysia, police said.
'Mustakin was positively identified by a witness as one of those who were involved in the kidnapping,' city police chief Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo told reporters.
He said Mustakin was 14 when he joined an Abu Sayyaf unit in kidnapping six local members of the Jehovah's Witness sect on nearby Jolo island in 2002.
Two of the six captives were beheaded and their heads dumped in the town plaza. The four others were freed weeks later, allegedly after ransom payments, police said.
After the kidnappings, police offered a bounty of 150,000 pesos (S$4,438) for Mustakin's arrest.