MANILA, Philippines – A suspected member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) was killed in an encounter with security forces in Marawi City.
Based on ABS-CBN News sources in the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the military, the encounter between members of the Philippine Army and PNP Special Action Forces and a group of suspected terrorists took place on Thursday.
Earlier Friday, the Philippine Army issued a press release confirming the arrest of suspected JI member Ustadz Sanusi or ‘Ishak’ at the Mindanao State University compound in Marawi City Thursday night.
Ishak was among the 7 suspected members of the terrorist group authorities wanted to arrest.
But after a few minutes, the press release was revoked, saying it was President Aquino who should announce the news.
During the last week of October, a document was disseminated to police stations in Metro Manila by the Regional Intelligence Division of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
It detailed the alleged plans of the leader of a JI terrorist cell in the Philippines, Zulkifli Bin Hir alias ‘Marwan’ and Basit Usman, a bomb expert of the Abu Sayyaf.
They agreed that Marwan would conduct bombings in western Mindanao while Usman would be responsible for central Mindanao.
The intended targets: churches, malls and public markets.
Operatives would also be sent to Metro Manila, who would plant improvised explosive devices in garbage areas.
NCRPO chief Leonardo Espina, meanwhile, downplayed the threat.
“Wala tayong natatanggap na specific or any imminent threat so far,” he said.
Still, the entire PNP has been tasked to take note of the report and make sure the plans are not carried out. -- ANC