Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

Jemaah Islamiyah-linked bomb maker targets 4 cities in southern Philippines

Published on Jun 30, 2014 2:03 PM

MANILA - Muslim militants linked to a Jemaah Islamiyah-trained bomber are targeting at least four cities in the southern island of Mindanao, possibly with car bombs, military intelligence sources said on Monday.

Security officials said Abdul Basit Usman, who trained under Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Mir, is leading a special operations group from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for possible attacks in the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato and Iligan.

Online news agency said Usman is out to avenge the death of two close aides as well as his wife's arrest when Philippine troops raided three rebel camps in Maguindanao province.

A report earlier by Reuters said the planned attacks by Usman, which has a US$1 million (S$1.25 million) bounty put up by the US State Department, are a retaliation for the arrest in Manila of Khair Mundos, the "spiritual leader" of the Jemaah Islamiyah-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which gained notoriety in the past decade by kidnapping foreigners.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!