In the early years of the discovery of Southeast Asia’s interlinked terrorist groups, authorities could look at the elements of a bomb – the chemicals used, the detonator, the crater left behind – and find the “signature” of a group. That was – for example – how Indonesian and Filipino authorities realized the bomb which exploded at the Philippine Ambassador’s house in Jakarta in 2000 had the signature of the MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim separatist group in the Philippines.
Today, life isn’t so simple for counterterrorism officials, intelligence analysts and members of the EOD (the Explosives Ordinance Division).
Despite the wide, gaping hole on the right side of the bus; the damage it caused – 5 people killed, at least 14 injured; and the bus driver’s interview saying he ruled out a mechanical or electrical reason for the explosion because he smelled powder - authorities veered away from calling it a bomb. They are cautious because the bomb blast happened three months after 6 nations – the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, France and New Zealand – warned about possible attacks in the Philippines and its capital, Manila.
So who could have carried out this attack?
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.