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Ten Dead, 120 Injured in Manila Mall Bombing

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By See-Dubya  •  October 21, 2007 12:27 AM

I’ve been remiss in not commenting on Friday’s bombing at the Glorietta Shopping Mall in the Philippines. It’s an attack so awful even other terrorists don’t want to be associated with it:

Norberto Gonzales, the president’s security adviser, said they had received an intelligence report that Abu Sayyaf was trying to raise funds abroad using the internet site YouTube and the blast could be used as part of this campaign.

“What is more ominous here is they may be planning a bigger attack,” Gonzales said on a radio programme on Saturday.

“They will first show a sample. That means that while the bomb yesterday already was powerful, it is still just a sample.”

However, speaking on local radio on Saturday, Abu Sayyaf denied that they were involved in the explosion.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, another Muslim separatist group, also said they were unaware of the blast.

Problem is, the bomb was a pretty sophisticated one, and the group that has claimed responsibility doesn’t seem capable of pulling this off:

Meanwhile, the Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF) doubted that the Rajah Solaiman Group could fulfill its threat to pull off another bombing in Metro Manila. The group earlier claimed responsibility for the Glorietta blast.

ATTF head Ricardo Blancaflor said they cannot accept at face value the claim of one Sheik Omar claiming responsibility for the incident that killed 10 people, and hurt at least 113 others.

Still, Blancaflor said they are now verifying and double-checking their data to see if the group indeed has the capability to conduct attacks.

They’re a charming bunch. Notice how they’re a bit more specific than is usual about the religion they’re targeting:

Also in a text message to ABS-CBN News, the person who said he was RSM spokesman Ruben Omar Lavilla, alias Sheik Omar, demanded the release of founder Hilarion del Rosario Santos, alias Ahmed Islam Santos, within 24 hours or the group will launch a similar attack targeting public places and vital installations.

“Jihad (holy war) against the Christians will continue if the military will not stop the killings of Muslims in Mindanao and Ahmed Santos should be released within 24 hours, otherwise, (Christians will) suffer again the consequences,” the caller said.

Del Rosario, captured in October 2006 at a hideout in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, was the head of the RSM, a group of Christians who converted to Islam and suspected to have links with the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah.

The RSM is an organization of Filipinos who have converted to Islam, was suspected of carrying out the Rizal Day bombing in 2000 and the February 2004 bombing of a Super Ferry ship that killed 116 people on Manila Bay. The group was also implicated in plots to attack the US Embassy in the Philippines.

More on the official skepticism here. Whether or not RSM could handle it, Jemaah Islamiyah could handle it quite well. They were behind the Bali Bombing–and they even (allegedly) had a little helper in Silicon Valley.

MORE: Interested in learning more about jihad in the Philippines? Bryan at Hot Air recommends you set your TiVo today for a worthwhile History Channel documentary narrated by Mark “Black Hawk Down” Bowden.

GLORIAGATE UPDATE

June 13, 2005 06:59 AM by Michelle Malkin

THE FILIPINO WATERGATE?

June 10, 2005 07:25 AM by Michelle Malkin

ABU SAYYAF LEADER: DEAD OR ALIVE?

December 20, 2004 04:39 PM by Michelle Malkin

IS THE PHILIPPINES SABOTAGING THE WAR ON TERROR AGAIN?

October 4, 2004 06:08 PM by Michelle Malkin

Thank the Philippines

July 24, 2004 02:28 AM by Michelle Malkin


Categories: Philippines