• Group prods supporters to attack Miss U pageant

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: International broadcaster RT TV reported that a Filipino jihadist group posted a video online calling on supporters to attack the 2017 Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.

    Citing reports from SITE Intelligence Group, the news channel said the Islamic State affiliate in the Philippines suggested that an explosive belt or bomb be made especially for the beauty contest.

    “Philippines jihadi Telegram channel posted a video for making an explosive belt and suggested ‘Create bomb for miss universe,” the group wrote on a Telegram Messenger group called “IS Philippines supporters,” according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the online activity of jihadist organizations.

    It said the post reportedly contained a video on how to assemble a suicide belt and a DIY (do-it-yourself) on explosives in English.

    The international beauty pageant is scheduled to begin on January 30, 2017 but the organizers are yet to determine the venue of the event. Among the venues being eyed are the Philippine Arena in Bulacan province and the Mall of Asia in Pasay City (Metro Manila).

    Just recently, the Islamic State called on its supporters in Southeast Asia to go to the Philippines and join Filipino jihadists if they cannot go to Syria or Iraq.

    Both the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the smaller Maute group have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

    There was no immediate statement from the Philippine authorities on the latest propaganda of the terrorist group.

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