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TERROR ALERT IN PHILIPPINE?


MANILA, Philippines - Security forces reinforced a "very high alert level" on five areas in the southern Philippines and also in Metro Manila to deter terror attacks from a local terror group and members of foreign terror groups from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, many of whom have been in the south for eight years while the rest arrived in the Philippines only in 2010, sources told Gulf News.
  • High alert level remained hoisted in northern Mindanao, region 10; Davao region, region 11; Socsargen, region 12; said Eastern Mindanao Commander. Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero. High alert level remained in Zamboanga Peninsula, region nine; and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer.
  • About 30 to 40 members of the Jemaah Islamiyah, the Southeast Asian conduit of the Al Qaida terror network, have been hiding in ARMM's Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, for almost nine years, with the help of the Abu Sayyaf Group.
  • Meanwhile, security was intensified at air and seaports, bus terminals, churches, infrastructures, embassies, five-star hotels, and malls in Metro Manila, intelligence sources said, adding that the entry of foreign terrorists from abroad, and their movement from the southern Philippines to Manila is "being prevented".
  • High-level efforts are undertaken because of a report given by Security Adviser Cesar Garcia to President Benigno Aquino last May, which said (at the time), "The threat groups have the intent and capability to undertake terrorist activities…They can quickly mount, without much preparation, attacks against targets of opportunity [in the south]."
  • Both the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiyah (at the time) had only a "moderate level of threat" in Metro Manila, Garcia said. But for now, terror attacks in Manila have not been discounted, said the intelligence source who requested for anonymity. He did not give details.
Leading the list of the most wanted foreign terrorists in the south was Zulkifli Bin Hir, also known as Marwan, a Malaysian national, alleged head of the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia terror group; and a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah's central command, said Garcia.
The list of foreign terrorists in the south included Zulkifli Abd Hir; and Zulkifli Bin Abdul Hir and Muawiyah.
Source: Agency
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