Rogue Moro rebels, bandits and lawless elements in Mindanao have been targeted for recruitment by an Afghanistan-trained Islamic cleric for a new jihadist group, intelligence reports said.
The group called Al Khilafa Al Islamiya is believed by government security forces as responsible for the bombing of a bar in Cagayan de Oro City that killed eight people and wounded scores late last month.
The reports said that Ustadz Human Abdul Najid communicated with his contacts in the Abu Sayyaf, Abu Sofia and rogue elements of the Moro rebel groups in search of recruits.
Two Moro rebels which were identified in the report as Abu Janiti and Abu Katab have helped Najid in his recruitment efforts.
The reports said that Najid served as the overall amir of the group and appointed Abu Janiti as the main instructor. Janiti was Moro rebel under Commander Bravo of the MILF’s 102nd Base Command.
Abu Katab, the master bomber of the Khilafa Islamiya, is reportedly based in Central Mindanao. He was the main conduit of Khilafa Islamiya with other armed groups operating in Maguindanao.
The reports said Abu Katab has linked up with Basit Usman, a notorious bomb maker in Central Mindanao.
Katab also facilitated the alliance building of Khilafa Islamiya with armed men associated with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
The reports said the group started training sometime between June and July 2012 in a location that are within the operational area of Commander Bravo.
Bravo told Abu Katab and Najid to leave his area, fearing their presence could attract the attention of intelligence operatives.