Terror group assembling in Bataan – intel report


MILITANTS belonging to the radical Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) have reportedly started to gather in Bataan, a police intelligence report said.

The report, a copy of which was seen by The Manila Times, said the RSM could be “planning something big” in the coming weeks.

It did not indicate whether the alleged gathering of RSM militants has anything to do with the five-day visit of Pope Francis next month.

Authorities have also declared that they have not monitored or detected any specific threat against the Pope.

The Pope is scheduled to arrive in the country on January 15 next year. His itinerary includes spending some time with survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.

In September, meanwhile, the Jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatened to attack the Pope in one of his foreign trips.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has vowed to provide round-the-clock security for the Pope during his visit in the country.

For this purpose, the PNP formed Task Force Papal Visit 2015 headed by Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, the PNP deputy chief for operations.

The RSM is composed of a group of former overseas Filipino workers who adopted an extremist religious ideology. It was founded by Ahmed Santos in 1991.

RSM is one of several local militant groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Aside from RSM, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, the Abu Sayyaf Group, and Khilafa Islamiya Movement have aligned themselves with ISIS.

The RSM has been tagged behind past bombing incidents in the country, including the 2004 Superferry 14 bombing in Manila Bay where more than 100 people were killed.

The group was also tagged behind the 2005 Valentine’s Day bombing in Makati City that killed eight people and injured dozens of others.

Government security forces have arrested several members of the RSM, including its founder, Santos.


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