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PIA Press Release

JI poses threat to ASEAN Summit - AFP

Quezon City (10 October) -- THE reported presence in the country of some 30 members of the Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah poses a threat to the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cebu City this December but state security forces are prepared to thwart any attack, a military spokesman said.

"The security in place has considered that as a threat," Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Information Office (AFP-PIO) chief Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro said when asked if the JI pose a threat to the regional leaders' meeting.

"All possible scenarios have been taken into consideration, so contingency measures will be laid out if there are such threats," Bacarro added.

Citing latest intelligence estimates, Bacarro said 30 JI members operate in the country, including the alleged brains of the 2002 Bali resort bombings that killed more than 200 persons, mostly Australian tourists -- Umar Patek and Dulmatin.

While he could not immediately give specifics, Bacarro said military forces would augment police security for the summit."The necessary security preparations would be done in collaboration with all law enforcement agencies... We have enough capability to do that," he said.

The JI, the Southeast Asian arm of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda, has launched attacks in the country with the help of the Abu Sayyaf. These include the bombing of the Superferry 14 off Manila Bay in February 2004 that some killed 200 people, and the Valentine’s Day bombings in the cities of Makati, Davao, and General Santos a year later that killed eight people and wounded scores others. (PIA) [top]

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