SUPERFERRY 14 BLAZE
On 02/28/2004 at about 00:50, two hours after departure from Manila harbor, during an overnight journey from Manila to Bacolod, an explosion ripped through the a luxury “Superferry 14”, with 899 people on board, in Manila Bay near Bataan Island in the Philippines. The explosion caused blazes and the sinking of the 10,000 ton ferry. 63 people were killed immediately and 53 were missing and presumed dead. The attack became the ever most deadly single terror attack in the country.
The Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), which has often been approached by the Abu Sayyaf in the past, said the group spokesman Abu-Sulaiman (his real name is Jainal Antal Sali) claimed a bomb was planted in revenge for alleged incidents of violence in the southern Mindanao area and the rape of some Muslim women by Philippines troops.
It was believed by some security officials that Abu Sayyaf bombed “Superferry 14” because the company that owned it, WG&A, did not comply with a letter demanding protection money.
According to the investigation a passenger, who used the name Arnulfo Alvarado, later identified by his real name as Redondo Cain Dellosa, a Rajah-Sulaiman member, hauled on board a cardboard box containing a television set. The TV was packed with 3.6 kg of TNT. Redondo Cain Dellosa carefully placed the box on his seat in the cheapest passenger section in the bowels of the ship and slipped away just before the ferry cast off (see – Zamboanga Cell).
Redondo Cain Dellosa was arrested on l 03/22/2004 in Quezon City, not far from Manila, with other 3 Abu Sayyaf members, while preparing more bomb attacks in Manila. He operated under the direct supervision of Abu Sayyaf leader Khadafy Janjalani .
The other 3 suspects arrested with Redondo Cain Dellosa were: Alhambser Manatad Limbong, the group ringleader, who beheaded an american hostage Guillermo Sobero and took part in the killing of a US serviceman in Zamboanga City; Abdurajid Lim, who participated in the Dos Palmas kidnapping incident and Radsmar Sangkula, an explosives trainer and participant in the abduction of 53 hostages in Sumahukom, Basilan island in 2000.
On 10/14/2004 six members of the Abu Sayyaf have been charged with the “Superferry 14” bombing, but only two of the suspects have been in custody.
* The suspected mastermind of the attack Omar Lavilla was arrested in Bahrain on 07/24/2008 and extradited to the Philippines on 08/28/2008.
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