Founding member of Abu Sayyaf Group indicted for 1995 hostage taking
Philippines national Madhatta Asagal Haipe, a founding member of Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyyah, also known as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), was sentenced Saturday to 23 years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to four counts of hostage taking in the 1995 abduction of 16 people, including four U.S. citizens, in the Philippines, the U.S. Justice Department announced late Friday.
According to the Department, Haipe, 48, was extradited to the United States from the Philippines in 2009 to face the charges in this case and had pleaded guilty in July 2010.
As admitted by Haipe as part of his guilty plea in December 1995, several armed members of the ASG kidnapped 16 individuals, including six children, four U.S. citizens, one U.S. permanent resident alien and 11 Philippine citizens, in the rugged area around Trankini Falls, near Lake Sebu, in southern Mindanao, Philippines.
In this regard, Ronald Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said in a statement that “it was incredibly gratifying that so many of those victims were able to stand today in an American courtroom and watch the terrorist who held them hostage be sent to prison for his crimes.”