Friday, November 17, 2006

Police Uncover Bombing Plot In Southern Philippines

Philippine police have uncovered a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) plot to launch bomb attacks in the troubled southern region of Mindanao. Chief Superintendent German Doria, a regional police chief, said the plot was revealed by a JI-trained bomb suspect arrested in Tacurong City, 960 km north of Manila. Doria said the captured bomber, Blah Platon, revealed that among the areas targeted in the terror attacks were the cities of Davao and Cotabato. "Based on the tactical interrogation, the suspect bared the JI was to carry out large-scale bomb attacks," he said. Doria said Platon also revealed that about 50 improvised bombs were to be shipped to the target areas within the year. Security forces have been conducting operations to capture key JI militants, Indonesians Dulmatin and Omar Patek, on Jolo island since August.Dulmatin and Patek were suspected to be key plotters in the 2002 bombings in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which killed more than 200 people, mostly Australian tourists. Police intelligence officers said Dulmatin and Patek were in the company of six other JI militants - four Indonesians, a Malaysian and a Singaporean - protected by Muslim Abu Sayyaf nrebels in Jolo. Last month, at least six people were killed and more than 30 others were injured in a series of bomb attacks in Mindanao, which were allegedly aimed at diverting military attention from Jolo. The attacks occurred after security forces captured the Indonesian wife of Dulmatin in Patikul town on Jolo island. She was awaiting deportation for illegally entering the country