POLICE and military intelligence agents have fanned out in Metro Manila in search of a terrorist who may be on a bombing mission in the country’s premier region, a senior police official said on Tuesday.
The source disclosed that the terrorist, a member of Abdul Basit Usman’s group, had been involved in bombings in the past. He said police operatives are verifying reports that the terrorist is no longer in Mindanao after undergoing bomb-making training in Cotabato City.
According to the source, who asked not to be named since he was not authorized to speak on the matter, it is possible that the “bomber” may be in Metro Manila (National Capital Region) for a test mission.
“But this [possibility]is still subject for verification,” he noted.
The source said the missing “bomber” was one of those involved in the bombing in Awang airport in Cotabato City in September 2003 where dozens of people were killed.
Although the Philippine National Police (PNP) maintained that it has not received any report about a terror plot in Metro Manila, security forces continue to run after members of extremist groups.
“It is part of our function as law enforcement agency to run after these elements especially if they have a standing warrant of arrest, it is part of our campaign to run after them,” PNP spokesperson and Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said in an interview.
On Monday, the Manila Police District (MPD) stepped up security measures in several areas that may be targeted by “bombers.”
These areas, based on a memorandum issued by Malate police station commander Supt. Romeo Mendoza Odrada, include the Central Bank, hotels, churches and malls.
The memorandum, however, did not identify who the supposed bombers would be.