• Bombers now in Metro

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    A group of young members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) under Ameril Umbrakato are reportedly in Metro Manila for their “test mission”, which is to conduct bombings on select targets similar to the recent blasts in Cagayan De Oro and Cotabato City that killed more than a dozen people.

    According to Saji Mukamad Abdul, one of the few young men who were trained by the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to detonate improvised explosive devices, the order given to them was to set the foundation for a Jihad or holy war.

    “Ang sinabi sa amin sir ay tatapusin lang namin ang isang test mission para sa isang jihad [We were told to accomplish one test mission for a Jihad],” Abdul told The Manila Times.

    The Times managed to get in touch with the 18-year-old Abdul through Watamama Kadil, also a BIFF recruit. Kadil said that some of the young recruits who have finished their bomb training were deployed to Metro Manila to carry out “test missions.”

    Without saying whether he is one of the recruits tapped for the mission in Metro Manila, Abdul, a native of Lanao Del Sur, said that they were directed to bomb vital utilities like the towers and power lines of the National Power Corporation and telecommunications firms Smart and Globe.

    The bombing that occurred last week in Cagayan De Oro City that killed at least eight people and wounded 48 others was among the continuing attacks on civilian populace carried out by the young BIFF recruits.

    Abdul further claimed that the bombing missions were upon the orders of JI operative Abdul Basit Usman, who directed all fresh graduates of the BIFF training camp in Lanao Del Norte to assemble in an undisclosed place where they planned their “test missions” in Mindanao.

    Usman is a Pakistani-trained militant who joined the al-Qaeda-linked JI as a bomb specialist, according to the information from the two sources, who confirmed that young BIFF members have been trained by Usman on how to prepare and explode an improvised explosive device (IED) with a timer.

    MILF
    Kadil also said there were even members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who insisted that the young recruits are not members of the BIFF but of the MILF.

    “Ito daw ay dahil si Usman ang nagturo sa amin kung papaano magpasabog ng bomba sa tamang oras at pamamaraan [It is for the reason that we were trained by Usman that we should consider ourselves not BIFF members but the MILF],” he further stressed.

    An asset of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) from Maguindanao province, who refused to be identified, claimed that they received raw information from the Muslim community that Usman was with some MILF commanders and three bearded Arab-looking personalities who passed along Liguasan Marsh in Barangay Kabuntalan in Maguindanao.

    Intelligence reports said the group was spotted along a route connecting the Marsh with Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat late Saturday evening with some 20 fully-armed escorts.

    But other military sources said they were still evaluating the report as they expressed the belief that the group that was sighted in Barangay Kabuntalan was Umbrakato’s.

    “We already learned of the presence of the members of the Jemaah Islamiyah who were also sighted in Barangay Bagras in Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat, where the MILF has coddled them and so do the BIFF. But we don’t know if they were planning an attack although we are ready for them,” said an official of 74th Infantry Battalion who requested not to be named.

    Liguasan Marsh spans the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat which are along the boundaries of
    General Santos City, Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

    It also connects to the provinces of Zamboanga, Jolo and Sulu with open access called the Philippine back door to Sabah, Malaysia and Singapore.

    It was further learned that the JI terror cell and Muslim rebels were using a Volvo speed boat, a two to four engine fast craft, in going to and from Malaysia.

    Triple alert
    Central Mindanao has been placed under triple alert status following reports of the presence of the armed group.

    The military is also verifying reports that the MILF still has a connection with the group of Umbrakato and Usman and are planning to launch wide scale hostilities and atrocities.

    Police Chief Superintendent Charles Calima, the Police Regional Office 12 director, said all threats are being closely monitored.

    “But we are always on our toes to combat against these rebel groups whoever they are,” he said.

    ‘Bomber for hire’
    On Tuesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) presented a different theory and blamed the Cotabato City explosion on a so-called “bomber for hire” group.

    PNP Public Information chief, Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said this is among the possible angles being pursued by their investigators following Monday’s explosion.

    “There’s an emerging modus operandi in the area and that this could be the handiwork of a ‘bomber for hire’ is one of the possibilities being explored by our investigators in the area,” Sindac told reporters in Camp Crame.

    But the police official quickly said that they are also not discounting the possibility that the powerful explosion in Cotabato City Monday afternoon was also a possible ‘terrorist attack’.

    The explosion also occurred as the SUV carrying City Administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi was passing by Sinsuat Avenue, at around 4:30 p.m. Monday, killing two of her police security escorts.

    “This could be personal, this could be political . . . but we’re not discounting terrorist angle, investigation are still on-going,” Sindac said.

    The PNP official added that the explosion in Cotabato City has no connection with the global terror threat alert issued by the US government over the weekend.

    PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima has already directed all Mindanao-based police units to step-up their intelligence gathering and security measures in their respective areas.

    “Step-up intelligence and target-hardening efforts in their respective areas, particularly on soft targets like commercial areas and such places of convergence and to fully employ the 3-tiered defense system,” Purisima said in his directive.

    The PNP chief was also summoned to Malacañang for a security cluster meeting called by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd.

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    11 Comments

    1. well,the effort of intelligence operatives in the whole AFP and PNP can’t suffice the number of Filipinos being secured..Every citizen of this country has the obligation to be vigilant especially during these times..It is unfair to just wait and see what these intelligence personnel can do…We also have to ask ourselves what we can do to help our fellow country men..Be vigilant and report any suspicious acts to the authorities..

    2. Mensahe para sa mga bombers: Marami na tayong problema sa bansa, wag na kayo dumagdag. Kung gusto ninyo ng Jihad, marami kayo pwede pag balingan – ang rekomendasyon ko: China and its communist government, sa kanila kayo maki pag Jihad wag sa kapwa Pilipino, lalo na sa mga mamayan natin na nagpupursige lamang araw araw para itaguyod ang kanilang pamilya at ang ating bansa. In a matter of years, we may run into a conflict and a confrontation with China that could lead to a war within Asia Pacific. Wala tayo higit na maasahan at higit na makaka tulong sa atin kundi tayo-tayo, kapwa Pilipino. Iisang lahi tayo sa iisang bansa, gawin natin ang maari natin magawa para isulong ang ating bansa sa kinabukasan na mas maganda kesa sa kahapon, kesa sa ngayon. Let’s all work together to build this nation, not destroy. Walang maliit na kontribusyon sa pinag sama samang pwersa para sa kabutihan at ikakaunlad ng ating bansa at bawat mamayang Pilipino.

    3. If they had a source and that person itself is telling the truth then get rid of those bombers! Wheter a muslim or christian! Rather than speculations! Namataan sa ganito! Doon! Bat di pa dinakip? Or maybe they are just spreading news to destroy our muslims brother. Alam ba ninyo ang ibig sabihin ng jihad at holy war? Even the informer ay walang alam! Nakakalungkot isipin na filipino vs filipino! Tau din ang talo! Let us be open minded guys.

    4. in situation like this, mar roxas is not the right man for his job at dilg. this situation is very serious. shoobiz style of management won’t work. with mar at dilg, is like forcing a square peg in a round hole. their political ambition for 2016 should not be the reason to keep him in this position when the society is in serious threat from people who know nothing about reason except their belief. gelatine and cotton candy man won’t work. why not try lacson.

    5. These bombings and bomb threats has a prupose. This is my conspiracy theory. Probably to distract the attention of the on-going investigation of the pork barrell. Also the on-going revamp at the customs. Any many more. These are the work of a group of people intending to create chaos and fear in order for them to succeed in their vicious and evil plan.

    6. These bombings and bomb threats have many purposes namely to distract the attention of the on-going investigation of the pork barrel scam, the on-going revamp of the customs to name a few. The government should be headstrong as there are a lot of evil element out there that wants to continue their dirty tricks against the government and the people. This is a conspiracy of you dig in deeper.

    7. more reason for a national ID to be implemented. with the national ID, movement of rebel and lawless elements can be easily monitored and controlled. only those against peace & progress are against national ID system.

    8. Analia Cabang on

      Why are the media accussing the BIFF already? Its still under investigation
      For God’s sake! If they are indeed who they say, they should be busy with their Ramadhan or Fasting. And this is not allowed most especialy during Fasting. And also, JIHAD has been tampered by the media. As always. It doesnt mean holy war. No such thing as holy war. Jihad means to struggle.

    9. ART G. VALENZUELA on

      The explosion that ripped part of the downtown area of Cotabato City the other day is a hallmark signature of al-Qaida and Jemaah Islamiyah. It was so powerful that the intensity could be compared to the ones being used in roadside bombings in strife-torn Iran. And yet the PNP says “bombs-for-hire.” Come on guys. So you don’t want the people to panic? But which is better: Tell the people the whole truth, be prepared and save lives, or tell the public half-truths and suffer the consequences? We must KNOW BY NOW that the Philippines is at war on two fronts: 1. A political confrontation with China on the West Philippine Sea; and 2. The (new) threat of roadside bombings to the Philippines, and that includes any part of the Philippines. BUT WHO IS REALLY BEHIND the recent explosion in Cotabato? They say the BIFF. Some say members of the MILF. BUT DID WE HEAR ANYBODY LINKING NUR MISUARI’S MNLF? Just asking. Let us recall that the MNLF felt left-out of the multi-billion-peso peace deal between the PHL government and the MILF. This development is a real threat to our people’s security. It is that scary and the people must take heed. It coud happen anywhere in this country.

    10. Whatever the motives of the bomber(s), the fact is they want to harm people indiscriminately. These are the right wings, radical groups that must have ties to international terrorist organization like the Al-Qaeda. These people are cowards whose ideals are as vague as their mentality, ignorant, extremely devoted to their religion yet do evil things to their fellowmen. Vigilance by all in light of the threat of further bombings is one way to counter, identify and apprehend these individuals. Always be aware of your surroundings and immediately report to authorities suspicious act or person.

    11. I guess, we’d all just have to sit and wait, or probably ask the counterintelligence agency of PH to track them down before it’s too late. :(

      I’d definitely lose my trust, as a member of the youth, in the Aquino administration should these young “bombers” succeed in their “test missions”.

      And if these happen, will this be a prelude to a chaotic metropolis filled with paranoia and restlessness?