An alleged terrorist plot to hijack or bomb a passenger plane from the Saudi Arabian air fleet has reached an ”advanced stage” of implementation, according to a reliable airport source.
The airport source on Saturday cited the threat of terrorist attack that would be carried out somewhere in Southeast Asia after Iran warned of “divine revenge” against Saudi Arabia over Riyadh’s recent execution of a religious leader, a prominent cleric.
The source confirmed that the Saudi Arabian Embassy in the Philippines has informed the Department of Foreign Affairs that its government intelligence had received information that “Iranian Revolutionary Guards” are allegedly preparing to mount the attack.
The Manila Times has obtained a copy of that confidential communication written by a retired admiral in behalf of the Foreign Affairs secretary, dated January this year, indicating that the plan has reached the “advanced stage.”
The dispatch revealed that the “implementing and planning team is said to consist of 10 persons and six of them are Yemeni nationals tasked to execute the plan, and some of them have already been identified.”
The names of the suspects have been withheld although it is believed that they have already left Iran for Southeast Asian countries through Turkey on two separate flights to execute the plan.
According to the source, the names of the six suspects have been forwarded to Philippine immigration.
The source said it is possible that the terrorist plot would be launched in Malaysia, Indonesia or the Philippines.
Early this month, Saudi Arabian Embassy officials were said to have requested officials of the Manila International Airport Authority to allow them to put up their own X-ray machines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
A separate request was also sent to the Office for Transportation Office.
The request, the airport source said, is extremely urgent.
It is a necessary security measure for intensifying and tightening inspection procedures at Philippine international airports used by passengers traveling on Saudi Arabian planes, the source said.
According to the source, the request is being reviewed by the airport authority.