A new Jihadist group is believed to have carried out the bombing in Cagayan de Oro City that killed eight people and wounded scores late last month.
The group is called “Al Khilafa Al Islamiya (AKAI)”, according to an intelligence and assessment report that shown the The Manila Times.
The report said Al Khilafa is inspired by the Tunisian revolution and has links with Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), which is associated with the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
Al Khilafa was organized by a certain ‘Ustadz Human Abdul Najid” early in 2012, the report said.
While in Afghanistan, Najid was reportedly asked by an unidentified Afghan to go back to Mindanao and set a group made up of Muslim militants.
Back in Mindanao, Najid got in touch with some of his contacts in Abu Sayyaf and laid out a plan to bomb certain areas in Mindanao.
The report said Najid linked up with an Abu Sayyaf group led by a certain Abu Said. The group is being held responsible for the bombing of the Rural Bus Transit in Barangay Guiwan, Zamboanga City, on August 8 last year.
Najid’s group teamed up with Jemaah Islamiyah operative Zulkipli Bin Hir alias Marwan to bomb the Maxandra Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City on December 24, 2012, the report said.
Najid also set off a bomb near a pension house in Iligan City to test the proficiency of his recruits.
A certain Abu Janiti and Abu Katab, both believed to be Moro rebels, joined Najid’s operations to entice young Muslims to join the Al Khilafa.
A Manila police intelligence agent who asked not to named said the Al Khilafa uses a black flag as its banner, and maintain ties with Moro rebel groups in Mindanao, particularly with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Prof. Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) said his group has monitored the same Jihadist group in Mindanao.
“There’s a new shadow group of jihadist formed and raising a black flag in Mindanao,” said Banlaoi, whose organization is doing research on terrorism in the Southern Philippines. ANTHONY VARGAS