KOTA KINABALU: Threats of cross border kidnapping are expected to remain despite the death of Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Indang Susukan.
Regional intelligence sources said although Indang played a major role in holding kidnapped hostages from Sabah, his death on Monday would not put any dent on the resurgent Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“Indang will be replaced. His death is a short-term loss.
“He has a younger brother who might take over,” said the sources.
Indang was responsible for the abduction of the Tung cousins from Negri Sembilan in 2012, Taiwanese Chang An Wei in Pom Pom island in 2013 and Sarawakian Bernard Then, who was later beheaded.
He was believed to have suffered gunshot wounds during a major military offensive at Patikul village in Jolo island on Saturday and was taken out of the fighting zone by Moro National Liberation Front commander Annuar Abdulah to another village in Talipao.
Indang apparently suffered complications from his injuries and died at Indanan area around 8am on Monday and was reportedly buried the same day.
On Wednesday, a regional intelligence source cited reliable ground sources as confirming that Indang was dead.
However, it is understood that the Philippine military and intelligence are continuing efforts to validate the ground intelligence claims.
Indang, who was initially believed to have been killed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out war against ASG two years ago, resurfaced late last year and teamed up with Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Hatib Hajan Sawadjan.