Manila – Members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group operating in the Philippines are planning to blow apart embassies in the Philippines by using 1,000-kg bombs, said intelligence officials. Mr Victor Mayo, the Deputy National Security Adviser, told a congressional panel that the group was also believed to be behind the Balibombings in October and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004.
"The threat is still terrorism. In fact, we have received reports that (some) Indonesians in the country are plotting suicide bombings ... (by detonating) 1,000 kilos of super bomb," Mr Mayo told the House Committee on Appropriations on the budget of the Office of the President's National Security Council, on Nov 22.
He said that during a raid conducted recently at a militant hideout in Quezon City, the authorities recovered 600kg of ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used to produce bombs.
When asked what the "super bomb" was, Mr Cesar Garcia, director-general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, explained that the terrorists had manufactured "an improvised explosive device targeting the US Embassy and other areas representing US interests".
The Department of National Defence (DND) had earlier confirmed that 33 JI members – all Indonesians - had been operating in the Philippines since last year.
The JI arm in the Philippines is allegedly led by a certain "Mantiqui 3", the DND said in a briefing paper. The group is reported to have links with Mindanao-based armed groups.
* Terrorists plan to 'super bomb' embassies confirmed (The Manila Times, Nov 23)