The Philippine military has identified the new leader or emir of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia succeed Isnilon Hapilon who was killed at the end of the five-month siege of Marawi City in Mindanao, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday.
Major Ronald Suscano, spokesman of the Army’s first infantry division, said that Abu Dar, a full-blooded Maranao and a native of Pagayawan, Lanao del Sur, was a sub-leader of Hapilon when the latter was still alive, but he is now the new leader.
The military had found that Dar was the money courier during the Marawi City siege which was led by the IS-inspired Maute terrorist group.
Suscano said the parents and relatives of Abu Dar were also residents of Lanao del Sur, but Hapilon was more radical than Dar. He noted that the only thing which is keeping Abu Dar strong is that he has connections with foreign terrorists.
Suscano’s disclosure came after the arrest of alleged Maute sub-leader Abdul Nasser Lommondot by the Manila police district over the weekend at Recto Avenue in Manila.
About 300 remnants, including some 10 sub-leaders, of the Maute terrorists escaped Marawi City after the siege.
Suscano said that Lommondot was normally accompanied by 2-4 men who were believed to be hiding with their relatives in Manila.