P250-Million Ransom Allegedly Claimed by Abu Sayyaf

Muamar Askali, Abu Sayyaf spokesman revealed a video clip that showed the alleged P250-million ransom they claimed in exchange for the freedom of the two Germans they have held captive.

The said video showed the Abu Sayyaf piling up bundles of blue cash believed to be P1, 000 bills in five stacks on top of a big black plastic bag. These bills were wrapped neatly in transparent plastic, each stack containing an estimated amount of P1 million.

P250-Million Ransom Allegedly Claimed by Abu Sayyaf

The clip showed militants that could be overheard counting in the Tausug dialect as they flocked around the money bag. A black flag of the Islamic State could also be seen in the background throughout the video’s two-minute and 57 second run.

Posted on Facebook last week by Askali, alias Abu Rami, the video clip was released as an effort to dispute reports that the German couple, Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen, were freed with no ransom paid last October 17.

Askali also showed a photo of one of the blue travelling bags that were used to conceal the ransom money as he said “al-hamdu-lillah”, which meant, “All praise and thanks to God.” He says so since he believes that they have countered the Philippine government’s no ransom policy for the sake of the Shariyah Islamiyah.

The commander of the Joint Task Group Basulta Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, the unit in charge of the offensive against the brigand group, refused to give his comment on the matter about the ransom money paid to the Abu Sayyaf.

However, Yoma states that the government troops had been pursuing the groups behind the ambush and killing of six soldiers in Basilan and Sulu relentlessly under the order of the President Aquino.

The commander also added that they are doing their best in continuing these operations to catch up to the Abu Sayyaf group but will not necessarily cause collateral damage. Reference: msn