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PIA Press Release

Police links MILF leadership to Mindanao blasts

General Santos City (20 October) -- The police has filed a murder charge against MILF top ranking leader Ibrahim "Al Haj" Murad for allegedly "plotting a bomb attack which killed seven people and wounded more than 30" in a Central Mindanao town last week.

A police informant alias "Imam," a former MILF member who voluntarily surrendered to the police pointed at Murad to be behind the Mindanao blasts, a police official said.

The informant said Murad has been working in cahoots with Jemaah Islamiyah suspected terrorists Umar Patek and Dulmatin, one of Asia's most wanted terror suspects for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed over 200 people.

Gadzhali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, in an interview with ANC, an ABS-CBN news network denied Murad's involvement and the membership of alyas Imam with the MILF.

"Anybody could claim membership with the MILF however, it is only the MILF leadership that can certify the legitimacy of any membership," Jaafar said in Filipino.

He said the "MILF is not unfazed by the accusation" but admitted the charge might affect the ongoing peace talks they have with the government.

Meanwhile Chief Superintendent German Doria, Central Mindanao police chief also said that "multiple and frustrated murder charges" have also been filed against Patek and Dulmatin and its local ally, the Abu Sayyaf Group.

"The police have sufficient evidence to implicate Patek and Dulmatin and their local terrorist counterparts in last Tuesday's bombings in Mindanao," he said.

Police believed that Dulmatin and Patek are being cuddled by the Abu Sayyaf which provides the two suspected terrorists safe shelter in Jolo.

Police is also hunting Abdul Basit Usman believed to be a member of the MILF and who is earlier linked to the Mindanao blasts.

Eid Kabalu, MILF spokesperson said they were also running after Usman because "he's destroying our name" denying involvement of the MILF leadership in any terroristic activity in Mindanao.

During the 8th CEO Forum of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines in Makati City, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured businessmen in the country that security forces were on top of the situation even after police raised alert levels in Metro Manila and Mindanao.

"The authorities are on top of the situation, but they need the active support of the community to safeguard the perimeters of peace and order," she pointed out urging barangay officials to act as "force multipliers" in implementing public safety measures.

The President also called "for global alertness in reporting suspicious activities" saying "strong cooperation between the vigilant public and our security forces will deny the terrorists any room to carry out sinister plots." (CT Apelacio/PIA SarGen) [top]

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